Breast milk is a “life-saving intervention” for babies with congenital heart disease
According to a research review from Advances in Neonatal Care, the official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, human milk is strongly favored as the best diet for babies with CHD, since it reduces the risk of serious complications and improves nutrition and growth results.
Jessica a. Davis, BSN, RN, CCRN, IBCLC, UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Diane L. Spatz PhD, RN-BC and FAAN of the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, reviewed and analyzed six studies on the benefits of vexgen keto breast milk and breastfeeding for infants with coronary heart disease. “As a result of the overwhelming evidence of better outcomes for breast milk charges for critically ill babies, breast milk should be considered a medical intervention for babies with CHD,” the researchers concluded.
The “special breast milk” is recommended to feed babies with CHD.
Congenital heart disease is the most common type of birth defect, diagnosed in 1 in every 1,000 newborns and babies every year. But while the benefits of breast milk for premature babies and healthy children are well documented, there is limited data on their role in improving the outcome of babies with coronary heart disease. Researchers examined evidence of the benefits of breast milk in the main outcomes of infants with CHD.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious complication in which there is damage to the intestine. According to studies showing that an exclusive diet of breast milk can reduce the incidence of NEC in premature newborns, the same recommendation applies to infants with coronary heart disease.
Chylothorax is a rare complication of thoracic surgery characterized by abnormal drainage of lymphatic fluid around the lungs, with the risk of serious adverse consequences. Studies have shown that eliminating fat from breast milk allows babies to continue receiving a diet of breast milk during treatment for chylothorax.
Babies with CHD are also prone to feeding difficulties that result in inadequate growth and weight gain. Studies have shown that a diet of human milk can improve weight gain in babies with heart disease. But due to other pressing concerns in these severely ill children, breastfeeding or alternative ways of providing breast milk are not considered a top priority.