Oropharyngeal administration of colostrum to extremely low birth weight infants: theoretical perspectives

N A Rodriguez, P P Meier, M W Groer and J M Zeller

Journal of Perinatology (2009) 29, 1–7

Own mother’s colostrum (OMC) is rich in cytokines and other immune agents that provide bacteriostatic, bacteriocidal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory protection against infection. OMC may be especially protective for the extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infant in the first days of life; however clinical instability typically precludes enteral feedings during this period.

Oropharyngeal administration is a potential alternative method of providing OMC. Oropharyngeal administration of OMC may have immunomodulatory effects on the recipient infant, and would be especially beneficial to the ELBW infant who would otherwise remain nil per os during the first days of life.

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