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November is prematurity awareness month

What expecting parents need to know. Sponsored by Prolacta Bioscience

Did you know that one out of every ten babies is born prematurely? Those fragile infants miss out on vital growth and nutrition that can put them at risk.

Neonatologist Dr. Melinda Elliott joins our Laura Cavanaugh with important information on how to help those newborns survive and thrive.

Babies born before 29 weeks gestation can develop complications with their lungs, brain and intestines, among other problems. The earlier the birth, the more serious the health risks.

Premature birth can also put those babies at greater risk for asthma, cerebral palsy, even neurodevelopmental delay. That is why proper nutrition is imperative from day one in the NICU due to the nutrition the infants missed out on in the third trimester.

“When you’re born extremely prematurely, you must add higher amounts of protein, calcium and calories to help the babies grow big and strong,” said Dr. Elliott. “Mom can’t add that much protein to her milk. It doesn’t matter what she eats. It doesn’t matter what she does. She just can’t make that high of a protein in her milk. So fortification is important.”

Full-term babies need mother’s milk, about 100 calories per kilo per day. But little babies need up to 40% more than that to grow and develop. Prolacta is the first and only company to produce human milk-based fortifiers in the United States. They are the closest fortifiers to the mother’s own milk. Prolacta’s fortifiers reduce complications to help newborns grow, thrive and get out of the hospital and home sooner.

“Prolacta’s fortifiers have been fed to over 70,000 very low birth weight infants worldwide and they’ve done very well,” said Dr. Elliott.

Dr. Melinda Elliott, the Chief Medical Officer for Prolacta Bioscience, says moms over the age of 30-35 are at higher risk of premature birth, as are expecting moms with high blood pressure and diabetes.

“We know good prenatal care helps to decrease prematurity.” Said Elliott.

There are resources out there to help. For FREE resources, visit www.prolacta.com for tips and advice on what to expect in the NICU.

Sponsored by Prolacta Bioscience