Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Coulter, Katherine

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Nursing and Health Studies


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the deadliest diseases a newborn could contract while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). NEC is an inflammatory intestinal disease that is characterized by variable intestinal injury, inflammation and often bacterial invasion (Alganabi, Lee, Bindi, Li, & Pierro, 2019). This disease affects almost 10% of preterm infants weighing less than 1500 grams at birth and the mortality rate for infants weighing less than 1000 grams at birth is 30-50%. The pathophysiology of NEC includes a variety of factors and is still not completely understood. This literature review was written to examine the effects of breast milk on necrotizing enterocolitis. The literature review contains articles retrieved from online databases including CINAHL, and PubMed. The literature is still very new on the subject, and research is still being conducted, however, breast milk appears to play a very important role in the development of the infant’s intestinal tract.


12 pages




Northern Illinois University

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