Premature babies face numerous struggles, and knowing exactly what they're eating could give them a better chance to grow. Researchers in Los Angeles have launched a study that analyzes breast milk. After testing hundreds of samples they found the nutritional value can vary and that some preemies may need supplements in addition to breastfeeding
Researcher Dr. Charles Simmons says, "we're finding that 10-to-20 percent of the samples would fall low in a range where we likely would recommend supplementation."
In the study's next phase, doctors will add nutritional supplements to some preemies' breast milk, to see if it leads to quicker weight gain and shorter hospital stays.
Doctors say improving a premature baby's growth rate is critical because those infants struggling with weight gain are often delayed in their brain development.