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Yes, human milk does reduce infection rates in very low birthweight infants
  1. L Furman
  1. Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Mather 3, Cleveland OH 44106, USA;

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    Drs De Silva, Jones, and Spencer have provided a timely review of issues relating to studies of breast feeding for very low birthweight (VLBW) infants and rates of infection.1 We would appreciate the opportunity to clarify some points that they have raised with regard to our study.2 We believe our results clearly support our conclusion: that intake of more than 50 ml/kg/day maternal milk through week 4 of life decreases the rate of sepsis in VLBW infants.

    de Silva et al state that, “… a major flaw noted in all the studies was the lack of a consistent definition of HM fed groups or methods used to quantify HM intake.” We were able to provide a concise definition of maternal milk intake, which was classified by mean ml/kg/day through week 4 of life, and included groups fed 1–24 ml/kg/day, 25–49 ml/kg/day, and ⩾50 ml/kg/day. These groups were compared with a reference group receiving 0 ml/kg/day maternal milk. We also describe the maternal milk intake of our population in two week increments by daily volume, by total …

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