Objective: To determine the association between human milk (HM) dose and health care utilization at one and 2 years of life in very low birth weight (birth weight < 1500 g; VLBW) infants.
Study design: This study included 345 VLBW infants enrolled in a prospective observational cohort study (2008-2012) who completed a neonatal high-risk follow-up clinic visit. Subsequent health care utilization included hospitalizations, emergency department visits, pediatric subspecialists, and specialized therapies.
Results: Each 10 mL/kg/day increase in HM in the first 14 days of life was associated with 0.26 fewer hospitalizations (p = 0.04) at 1 year and 0.21 fewer pediatric subspecialist types (p = 0.04) and 0.20 fewer specialized therapy types (p = 0.04) at 2 years.
Conclusion: HM dose in early life for VLBW infants was an independent predictor of the number of hospitalizations at 1 year and types of pediatric subspecialists and specialized therapies at 2 years of life.