Strategies to increase the use of mother's own milk for infants at risk of necrotizing enterocolitis

Pediatr Res. 2020 Aug;88(Suppl 1):21-24. doi: 10.1038/s41390-020-1075-3.


High-dose mother's own milk (MOM) feedings during the first 14 days post birth reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birthweight (VLBW; <1500 g birthweight). However, high-dose MOM feedings are only possible if mothers provide sufficient quantities of MOM in a timely manner, and data indicate that the lack of MOM during the early post-birth period is a global problem. This paper reviews the modifiable and unmodifiable barriers to accessing adequate quantities of MOM during the early post-birth period and proposes evidence-based strategies to increase and improve the use of MOM during the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization with an emphasis on the critical first 2 weeks post birth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / therapy*
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Milk, Human*
  • Mothers
  • Neonatology / methods*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Risk