Effect of Donor Milk Supplementation on Breastfeeding Outcomes in Term Newborns: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019 May;58(5):534-540. doi: 10.1177/0009922819826105. Epub 2019 Jan 28.


Background: Pasteurized donor human milk (DHM) use for healthy newborns is increasing; however, no studies have explored its effect on breastfeeding outcomes.

Patients and methods: We enrolled 60 healthy, term breastfeeding newborns with ≥4.5% weight loss in the first 36 hours in a randomized controlled trial. Thirty newborns were randomly assigned to early limited-volume DHM supplementation and 30 newborns to exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers were surveyed at 1 week and 1, 2, and 3 months regarding the mode of infant feeding. Comparing infants randomized to DHM supplementation with those exclusively breastfeeding, there was no significant difference in the proportion using formula at 1 week (21% vs 7%, P = .15), nor in the proportion of any breastfeeding (79% vs 90%, P = .30) or breastfeeding without formula at 3 months (62% vs 77%, P = .27). Conclusion For newborns with ≥4.5% weight loss in the first 36 hours, early limited-volume supplementation with DHM is unlikely to have a significant favorable impact on breastfeeding outcomes.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02221167.

Keywords: breast milk; breastfeeding; donor human milk; donor milk; milk banking; neonate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Infant Formula*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Milk, Human*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Weight Loss

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02221167