Breast milk (ASI) is known to have countless health benefits for babies, especially those born prematurely. Nutritional elements, growth factors, and hormones included in breast milk aid in the development and growth of your baby. Babies digest breast milk more easily than formula. Breast milk can also help protect premature babies from infections in the digestive tract. 1 Breast milk has been shown in recent studies to be beneficial in long-term improvements in the heart function and structure of premature infants.2

Caring for a premature baby whose gestational age is still 37 weeks does require extra patience and persistence. The reason is, most of the vital organs of premature babies are not fully developed. This leads to many risks, such as heart defects. However, a recent study by a researcher from Ireland brings a breath of fresh air to the survival of premature babies. Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI) Dublin University of Medicine and Health Sciences, dr. Afif El-Khuffash, said breastfeeding for 1 full year was successful in strengthening the heart of babies born prematurely. Quoted from the journal JAMA Network Open, this research adds to the known benefits of breastfeeding for babies born prematurely.2

Another study found that breastfeeding premature babies seems to increase babies' chances of having a healthier heart in young adulthood. The findings are based on an analysis of more than 200 men and women in their 20s. This shows that premature babies who are only breastfed during infancy have better heart capacity and overall function than premature babies who are fed formula milk or formula and breast milk.3

Tips for Breastfeeding Premature Babies4

 Breastfeeding a premature baby can be difficult for you, so it's clear that you need more intensive care and possibly special breastfeeding advice from your doctor to help manage premature babies. Some of the following tips may be able to help treat your premature baby:

> Spend as much time as possible with your baby, even if you or your baby are not doing well enough. This is actually very important to help you increase milk production and start establishing a breastfeeding routine. Be patient and keep trying.

> At first, your baby may just lick your breast, then suck a few more times until the baby has confidence to really suckle. Over time, this natural process will encourage your baby's sucking reflex and help the baby get used to regular feedings.

> If the baby is still not ready to suckle, it means that you need to express breast milk to facilitate the supply of milk. It is recommended that you flush 8-10 times a day, including once at night.

> If you have obstacles to produce your own breast milk, try consulting a pediatrician. In addition, you can give donor breast milk to your baby, at least until your breast milk production has been However, first make sure the breast milk donor comes from a clear source.


1. NHS medical professional. Breastfeeding your premature baby. NHS. Last review on October 10, 2019. Available at:   

2. Gita Permatasari. Pemberian ASI Perkuat Jantung Bayi Prematur. Theasianparent. Last review on August , 2022. Available at

3. Alan Mozes. Breastfeeding a Boon to Preemies' Hearts: Study. Last review on June 14, 2016. Available at:

4. Marianti. Inilah Pentingnya ASI untuk Kesehatan Jantung Bayi Prematur. Alodokter. Last review on August 24, 2017. Available at:,kesempurnaan%20struktur%20dan%20fungsi%20jantung.