Preterm infants and breastmilk: new results on long-term cognitive development

Australia - Wed, 09/14/2016

A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics stresses that very preterm infants fed breastmilk during the first 28 days of life present a better neurodevelopment at term equivalent age, as well as a better intelligence quotient, academic achievement, working memory and motor function at 7 years of age.

This study of longitudinal cohorts was developed within the framework of the Project VIBeS (Victorian Infant Brain StudySe). 180 infants born at less than 30 weeks’ gestation or weighed less than 1250 g at birth weight were studied. Brain development was assessed through magnetic resonance imaging at term equivalent and 7 years of age. Furthermore, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development was administered at 2 and 7 years of age.

Scientists concluded that predominant breast milk feeding in the first 28 days of life is associated with a greater grey matter volume at term equivalent age and better intelligence quotient, academic achievement, working memory and motor function at 7 years of age in these preterm infants.

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