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Increasing the Consumption of Breast Milk in Low-Birth-Weight Infants: Can It Have an Impact on Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Kelley, Lorraine DNP

Section Editor(s): Ikuta, Linda

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e3182613bff
Foundations in Newborn Care

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease that occurs in up to 10% of infants born weighing less than 1500 g at birth. Significant research has been done looking for ways to prevent NEC from occurring in this vulnerable population. One factor that has shown promise in decreasing the incidence of NEC is increased consumption of breast milk versus formula. This article describes the research related to breast milk and the decreased incidence of NEC as well as research related to increasing the amount of breast milk available and consumed by preterm neonates.

Department of Nursing, University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Correspondence: Lorraine Kelley, DNP (

The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2012 National Association of Neonatal Nurses