All moms are well-known to be everyday superheroes, but it’s the select few who can use their superpowers to actually save lives. It’s those rare and envied moms of urban folklore, who boast a freezer stash of spare milk that can put their breasts to work for the good of humanity. Donor breastmilk is one of the most valuable resources in the NICU and unfortunately, it comes in limited supply. In the NICU, there are many risks that keep the staff and new parents awake at night with worry, but necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the biggest dangers.
NEC, an affliction commonly characterized by an underdeveloped and immature intestinal lining, is the second most common cause of mortality in premature infants and formula feeding is one of its greatest risk factors. Only breast milk contains the unique NRG4 protein, well-known for its ability to repair the young, immature and sometimes diseased gut. In cases where mom’s milk is unavailable, donor breast milk can truly make the difference between life and death.