Nutrition & Gastroenterology
The Breast Milk and Mastitis Study aims to measure the key ion compositions in breast milk of preterm mothers to determine the efficacy of bedside testing for mastitis, as well as examining the rate of occurrence and causative organisms responsible for mastitis.
The Novel Teat Study evaluated the rates of breastfeeding, hospital length of stay and the preterm infants’ ability to suck using the new Calmita teat. Use of the Calmita teat, designed so milk is only released when the infant sucks with enough vacuum to open the valve, compared to the standard routine care teat. The Calmita teat more closely simulates breastfeeding, so use of this teat should ‘teach’ preterm babies how to breastfeed so that they are able to leave the hospital earlier. Use of the new teat did indeed result in reduced length of stay in the hospital and less formula feeding at discharge. Based on these results we are using the Calmita teat regularly. (Funding: Medela AG)
Results from the Novel Teat Study have also led to new questions, which we are investigating in the Preterm Breastfeeding Study. In this study we are examining the development of suck-swallow-breathe coordination is preterm babies at varying ages using the standard bottle teat, the Calmita teat, and during breastfeeding itself. (Funding: Medela AG)
The SiMPRO Study examined the effects of a single strain probiotic supplement, versus a multiple strain probiotic supplement in preterm babies. We know that probiotic supplementation can reduce the risk of necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) by 50-60% and so we now routinely supplement all premature babies weighing less than 1,500g or born less than 33 weeks gestational age with probiotics. At King Edward Memorial Hospital we have been doing this for two years with over 1,000 babies, and have seen significant reduction in NEC. This study will tell us if there are any additional benefits to supplementing with multiple strain probiotics. (Funding: Telethon and Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation)