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Breast Milk Could Prevent Brain Damage In Pre-Mature Babies If Given Through The Nose, Says Study

Breast Milk Could Prevent Brain Damage In Pre-Mature Babies If Given Through The Nose, Says Study

A group of researchers from Germany conducted the study on an experimental basis on animals where they adminsitered breast milk intranasally and found positive results.

Doctors can't even begin to describe the importance of breast milk for newborn babies. They would have to write pages after pages about its benefits and necessity for a baby. Think of it as a panacea in the true sense of the term for everything related to a baby - be its health, nutrition, immunity or all-round development. Breast milk is truly a wonder of nature and something that has baffled researchers and the medical community for a long time. New researches continue revealing its complexity like this recent study which says - we suggest you hold your seats tight for this one cause it sounds like something straight from some fiction - giving premature babies breast milk through their nasal cavity (nose) could help heal brain damage reports scarymommy.com. Although a lot still has to be done and tested in this study since it is still in the experimental stage, we can't help but be awed at the finding. The study was carried out by a group of German researches and was published in The European Journal of Pediatrics just last month.



 

The study was based on the idea that breast milk has a particular type of stem cells called the neurotrophins and mesenchymal stem cells, according to the researchers. This has the capacity to repair brain injuries in premature babies, also called preemies. Administering breast milk by way of the nasal cavity could get those stem cells right into a baby’s brain tissue. Researches, however, have not carried out the study on actual infants but only on animals. But this does not take away the fact that it is a sign of a big finding in the offing and we are definitely excited.  



 

According to the study, The distance from the nasal cavity to the brain is relatively short.  Without going into exhaustive detail it has been demonstrated in animal models that provision of medications intranasally can reach the brain without traversing the bloodstream. This affords the opportunity to provide substances to the neonate through the nasal cavity in the hopes that it will reach the brain and achieve the desired effect.

For the study, experiments were carried out on 31 extremely low birth-weight preemies who were suffering from intraventricular hemorrhage (brain bleeding). All of the babies were breastfed, but additionally, 16 of them also received a nasal application of breast milk. The milk was used within 2 hours of expression, started within the first 5 days after birth, and continued for a period of 28 days. During this time, a pediatric radiologist who had no idea about the study or the intervention, also monitored the health of the baby using cerebral ultrasounds.  



 

Researches found that those babies who had breast milk administered through the nasal cavity had 'a trend to a lower incidence' for three conditions of the brain, namely - severe porencephalic, progressive ventricular dilatation, and surgery for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. The study states: The hypothesis is generated that early intranasal application of breast milk could have a beneficial effect on neurodevelopment in preterm infants.



 

 

According to a report in All Things Neonatal Again, the research is still in its early stages. The study is also small, but it definitely looks very promising, According to its researchers, the results don’t reach statistical significance. But they believe that there is a 'trend at the bottom of the table above to having less progressive ventricular dilatation and surgery for the same'. They've also asked the scientific community to look out for more and more studies about the different healing properties that breast milk carries. 



 

 

Every year thousands of babies are born prematurely. Even though many survive, brain damage in the early stages of birth lasts their whole lives. In such situations, such a study could be a boon in the field of pediatrics. “The hypothesis is generated that early intranasal application of breast milk could have a beneficial effect on neurodevelopment in preterm infants,” explain the researchers. Again, the research is still in its early stages here, and the study is small, but it looks very promising, according to the All Things Neonatal report. 

“The results don’t reach statistical significance but there is a trend at the bottom of the table above to having less progressive ventricular dilatation and surgery for the same. Regardless, be on the lookout for this research as I suspect we may see more studies such as this coming and soon,” researches told All Things Neonatal. Having another powerful tool like this would be wonderful and vital.  Some of the other things known about breast milk are the fact that it can kill cancer cells,  the composition of her breast milk changes dramatically to protect her baby. Breast milk protects babies in the short term from many common infections as well as lifetime protections from conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more.

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