Post Discharge Formula Fortification of Maternal Human Milk of Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants: An Introduction of a Feeding Protocol in a University Hospital

Pediatr Rep. 2016 Oct 3;8(3):6632. doi: 10.4081/pr.2016.6632. eCollection 2016 Sep 19.


The objective of this study is to determine the growth parameters and nutritional biochemical markers and complications of fortification of human milk by post discharge formula of preterm very low birth weight newborns (VLBW). Fifty preterm infants less than 37 weeks with weight less than 1500 g were enrolled in the study. They received parental nutrition and feeding according to our protocol. When enteral feeding reached 100 cc/kg/day, infants were randomized into two groups: group I, Cases, n=25, where post discharge formula (PDF) was used for fortification, group II, Controls, n=25 with no fortification. Infants of both groups were given 50% of required enteral feeding as premature formula. This protocol was used until infants' weight reached 1800 g. Daily weight, weekly length and head circumference were recorded. Hemoglobin, albumin (Alb), electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and clinical complications were documented. Human milk fortification with PDF resulted in better growth with increase in weight 16.8 and 13.78 g/kg/day (P=0.0430), length 0.76 and 0.58 cm/week (P=0.0027), and head circumference of 0.59 and 0.5 cm/week (P=0.0217) in cases and controls respectively. Duration of hospital stay was less in cases (22.76 versus 28.52 days in Controls), P=0.02. No significant changes were found in serum electrolytes, BUN, or Alb between both groups. Hemoglobin was significantly higher in Cases, P=0.04. There were no significant clinical complications. Our feeding protocol of fortification of human milk with PDF in preterm very low birth weight newborns resulted in better growth and decrease in length of hospital stay. The use of PDF could be an alternative option for fortification of mothers' milk for preterm VLBW infants in developing countries with low resources.

Keywords: Breastfeeding; fortification; growth; hospital stay; preterm.

Grants and funding

Funding: the authors funded this research by their personal funds.