NICU human milk dose and health care use after NICU discharge in very low birth weight infants

J Perinatol. 2019 Jan;39(1):120-128. doi: 10.1038/s41372-018-0246-0. Epub 2018 Oct 19.


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.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare* / methods
  • Aftercare* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Milk, Human*
  • Nutritional Support / methods
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States