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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2018 Feb;27(1):34-38. doi: 10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2017.11.007. Epub 2017 Nov 6.

Human milk and necrotizing enterocolitis.

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Section of Neonatology, Rush University Children's Hospital, 1653 W. Congress Pkwy, Pavilion 353, Chicago, Illinois 60612. Electronic address:
Divisions of Neonatology & Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of California San Diego, Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego, San Diego, California.


NEC is a multifactorial disease that occurs when multiple risk factors and/or stressors overlap, leading to profound inflammation and intestinal injury. Human milk feedings, both from the infant's mother and donor human milk, have been associated with reductions in NEC in preterm infants. This article will review the protective factors in human milk, clinical studies of human milk and NEC, and practices to enhance human milk use in neonatal intensive care units.


Donor milk; Human milk; Necrotizing enterocolitis; Prematurity

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