After several decades of relative neglect, human milk is now back in favor, and the general impression is that it is preferable to formulas, even for infants prematurely born. Older pediatric texts recommended it for prematurely born infants as they did for those born at term. But in those days most of the former group did not live long enough for nutritional deficiencies to develop, and artificial formulas were often unsatisfactory. The science of infant metabolism was literally in its "infancy," and gastroenteritis was the principal concern. It was early realized that human milk contained less protein and ash than cow's milk.1 Later Jeans2 and Benjamin et al3 showed that human milk provided too little calcium and phosphorus to support normal growth in prematurely born infants. Even that champion of human milk feeding, Alfred Hess, who continued to use it in his premature infant nursery long after
FORBES GB. Human Milk and the Small Baby. Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(7):577–578. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970430009001
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