Necrotizing Enterocolotis (NEC) in Preterm Babies

Necrotizing Enterocolotis (NEC) and The Cow Milk Formula Connection

NEC Lawsuits are multiplying, targeting stricken parents of preterm babies whose intestines developed a dangerous bacterial condition called necrotizing enterocolitis. How can so many babies be saved by talented obstetrics teams, only to be lost to NEC? NEC rarely occurs.  It occurs in premature and in few cases, to full term babies with birth defects. What it is and how it happens is what we will cover here.

Necrotizing Enterocolotis (NEC) in Premature babies

What is NEC?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a rare, but serious condition mainly affecting premature babies who are fed cow milk based formula.  In this condition, bacteria invade the intestine walls, followed by inflammation.  This can crate a crack or gap allowing nasty germs into the abdomen.  Pre-term babies have weaker immune systems that can’t fight off those germs.  If the condition is not caught and treated, it can lead to dangerous infection and sometimes, death.

Symptoms of NEC

Babies suffering from NEC first exhibit vomiting, their tiny bellies appear large and distended.  The stools are bloody and there are long pauses in their breathing, like sleep apnea.  The baby become less active instead of more active as they develop.  About fifteen percent of babies who survive the condition later suffer from short bowel syndrome, poor growth and long term neurodevelopmental impairments. 

Causes of NEC

The causes are not all clear, but babies who are born preterm have underdeveloped digestive-intestinal systems.  Several studies indicate that ingestion of cow milk based infant formula is linked to NEC in preterm infants than breastmilk.  More testing is needed to learn how to reduce the risk of this condition.  Researchers note that goat milk specialty formulas are easier to digest and absorb than cow milk formulas.  Because of this, specialty formula may be an effective nutritional intervention against the risk of NEC.  Once cured, side effects linger, and goat milk formula might be easier for post NEC babies to absorb essential nutrients.  Sammy’s Milk formula is a wholesome nutritional choice for toddlers with or without digestion issues.

Babies Tummies at Birth

Newborn Babies’ tummies can hold about one ounce.  The rate of a newborn’s tummy expansion is fairly amazing when you consider how quickly babies manage a full bottle. If breastfeeding, Mom’s first substance that comes out, colostrum, makes baby’s first meal rich in protein.  After that meals start at half an ounce every two or three hours.  By the end of the first week, babies might eat twice that.

Babies Intestines at Birth

At birth, babies’ lungs and intestines are weaker and less developed than those in full-term babies. They also have trouble breaking down food and fighting infections. Normally, the first bowel movement after a baby is born is meconium. This green-black sticky stuff is actually the lining of the intestines that normally flakes off and collects before birth.  It is another 24 hours after the meconium is excreted before the milk or formula completes its path through the digestive system to come out as poop.  Newborn digestive systems aren’t very efficient.  Babies have to learn how to push the stool out, so there may be some grunting and effort involved.  As long as the stool is soft, without being watery, it isn’t a sign of constipation. 

As babies grow, their digestive-intestinal tracks continue to develop and become more efficient.  Until then, if breastmilk is not an option, discuss easy to absorb goat milk based formulas with methylated vitamins with your pediatrician. Ask them when to introduce Sammy’s Milk for a healthier happier child.

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