Healing power of breast milk

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Paxton Kulp surprised everyone when he arrived 11 and a half weeks before his due date. (KFSN)

Paxton Kulp surprised everyone when he arrived 11 and a half weeks before his due date. Then came another surprise, Paxton developed an intestinal disease common in premature and low birth weight infants called necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, for short.

"In our research we had seen just how dire it can be for little ones and so, when it was an official diagnosis, it was very, very devastating," said Meghan Kulp.

What causes NEC is unknown, but doctors do know breast milk is protective. A team led by Dr. Michelle Feinberg launched a NEC prevention initiative at their neo-natal intensive care unit.

The three key parts-- early use of breast milk, the addition of probiotics and this state of the art prep room where specially trained techs process and prepare breast milk for each baby.

"They bring those prepared feedings back to the room to again store in the milk fridge for the nurses to then administer to the babies around the clock," Neonatologist Michelle Feinberg.

By 2013, the hospital's incidence of NEC dropped from the national average of four percent to less than half-of-a-percent and has stayed there. The Kulps were lucky Paxton's case was mild. He is fully recovered, healthy and happy.

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