Another benefit of mother’s milk revealed- this time in preterm babies
Breastfeeding is the best gift for a newborn. It has been associated with many health benefits, and the list keeps growing. For example, essential proteins called antibodies present in breast milk give babies immune protection from several infections early in life when the babies have not yet developed their own antibodies. It now turns out that a specific form of antibodies called immunoglobulin A (IgA) that is present in in breastmilk protects preterm babies from a severe gut infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). IgA antibodies bind to bacteria in the gut, and, according to the study, the more bacteria that’s bound to IgA in babies’ guts, the less likely the babies are to develop NEC. Mother’s milk is the only source of IgA for premature babies in the first few weeks of life.