National perinatal initiatives are driving practice changes to ensure mothers are supported to exclusively breastfeed after delivery and throughout the hospital stay. In addition, The Joint Commission standards and American Academy of Pediatrics stipulate mothers who are unable to breastfeed should be assisted to express milk as soon as possible for their sick or preterm infants. Why have perinatal breastfeeding standards changed so emphatically in the last few years?
The human breast produces colostrum for just a brief period of time after birth, yet colostrum is vitally important in assisting the newborn’s transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life. In this presentation we will explore research related specific components in colostrum, how they facilitate immune system development and promote balanced cellular growth. We will also discuss new research that suggests colostrum feedings might potentially reduce the risk of NEC in preterm babies. Lastly, we will explore clinical practices that ensure all babies receive colostrum during their first days of life.