Clinical Characteristics and Breastfeeding Outcomes in Term Dyads Following In-Hospital Supplementation with Pasteurized Donor Human Milk or Formula

Breastfeed Med. 2021 Sep;16(9):717-724. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2020.0337. Epub 2021 Apr 19.


Background: Pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) supplementation for healthy infants is an emerging practice. Little is known about demographics or breastfeeding outcomes for dyads whose mothers choose PDHM versus formula. Research Aims: To identify relationships between in-hospital supplementation choice and (1) dyad characteristics and breastfeeding intent, and (2) breastfeeding outcomes at 1 month. Materials and Methods: This exploratory prospective cohort study surveyed healthy dyads requiring medically indicated supplementation. Participants completed questionnaires including demographics, breastfeeding intent, and self-efficacy during hospitalization, and self-efficacy and lactation outcomes at 1 month. Results: Of 39 participants, 24 (62%) supplemented with formula and 15 (38%) with PDHM. Formula dyads were more likely than PDHM dyads to have a delivery body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2 (58% versus 20%, p = 0.02), and less likely to have attained greater than a college degree (33% versus 7%, p = 0.02); formula dyads also reported lower breastfeeding intent scores (12.0 versus 15.5, p = 0.002). Breastfeeding self-efficacy scores were similar but decreased for both groups over 1 month. At 1 month, mothers who chose formula were more likely to continue to provide breast milk to their infants (84% versus 72%). Direct breastfeeding rates were similar (72% versus 68%); of participants directly breastfeeding at 1 month, PDHM dyads were 1.5 times more likely to provide maternal expressed milk. Conclusions: Differences in maternal education, BMI, and breastfeeding intent were found between feeding groups. Results suggest an association between PDHM choice and initial breastfeeding intent and breastfeeding self-efficacy and provision of maternal expressed milk at 1 month.

Keywords: breastfeeding intent; formula; healthy dyads; human breast milk; pasteurized donor human milk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Milk, Human*
  • Prospective Studies