Join PreemieWorld and our sponsors in our fight to secure informed feeding options for all babies in the NICU.
This petition is to call on NICUs to implement nutritional education and consent forms for ALL feeding options available to premature babies in the NICU. That would include mother’s breast milk, donor breast milk, human milk fortifier, bovine-based fortifier and bovine-based formula.
Feeding my preemie daughter was honestly the only thing I felt I had control over in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and that meant a lot.
Being suddenly plummeted into the confusing and terrifying world of the NICU, I found myself handing over the reins of my helpless 30-week old daughter Becky to strangers. Suddenly my voice was trumped by medical science and the team of doctors and nurses knew better. Even how my daughter was fed was under their control, their scrutiny.
With no help except my maternal instinct, I started pumping breast milk within hours after my daughter was born. I pumped and pumped and pumped and still the team added bovine or cow-based fortifier (formula) to her diet. I didn’t know until they had already done it. I was not asked in advance and I had no idea what that meant at the time.
That was 14 years ago, and a lot has changed in terms of the clinical data around the need for exclusive human milk in very low birthweight babies. Simply put, parents have the right to be educated about their options and understand the ramifications of their choice.
Every NICU should have a mandatory consent form on feeding options for the baby just as there is a signature required for all vaccines. Nutrition is not simply food, it is medicine.
Most especially for preemies born under 1,250 grams (roughly 2 and a half pounds), nutrition is not simply food, it is medicine. Anything fed to them beyond mom’s milk, human donor milk and a human milk-based fortifier is going to be problematic. Nutrition can be life-saving, or it can be life-threatening.
Though mother nature has not showed us all the reasons preemies develop necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC, we do know it is one of the most common and life-threatening conditions of the GI system. And we know that a 100% human milk diet inclusive of mom’s milk or donor milk plus a human milk-based fortifier can reduce NEC by 77%. Implementing this as the standard of care in our nation would go a very long way to helping preemies thrive.
This petition is done in memory of all preemies that have died and/or suffered from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Please know your rights, understand the data, and remember you do have a voice – the strongest voice for your baby.
Love, Deb Discenza, PreemieWorld (www.PreemieWorld.com)
Disclosure: This initiative has been put in place solely by PreemieWorld, LLC which has received no commercial financial support, bias or input.
Sign our petition:
World Prematurity PetitionRead the Petition
|245||Mrs Sarah B.||??||Nov 10, 2020|
|244||Mr Martin K.||??||Oct 29, 2020|
|243||Ms Lakevia W.||??||Jun 05, 2018|
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The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund
National Coalition for Infant Health
National Black Nurses Association
Hand to Hold
The Tiny Miracles Foundation
Kelley French, author of Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon, mom to 23-weeker who perforated twice
National Association of Perinatal Social Workers
Nurtured by Design
Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation
The Tangerine Owl Project
Patient Advocacy Strategies
Jen Degl, author of From Hope to Joy: A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and Her Micro Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds
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