When you give birth early, your milk is higher in many of the nutrients that your baby needs, such as protein and iron. Your milk contains live cells that help protect your baby against infection and disease and strengthen your baby’s immune system. Your milk has enzymes to help your baby digest food. Its growth factors help your baby’s gut mature. No other food can give your baby these.
Research has found that preterm babies who miss out on mother’s milk may get sick more often and more severely. Later on, they also may have more vision problems, bone problems, and delays in development.