Increasing early exposure to mother's own milk in premature newborns

J Perinatol. 2022 Aug;42(8):1126-1134. doi: 10.1038/s41372-022-01376-8. Epub 2022 Apr 8.


Objective: Increase the proportion of ≤33 weeks newborns exposed to mother's own milk (MOM) oral care by 12 h of age by 20% over 2 years to support a healthier microbiome.

Study design: We implemented interventions to support early expression of colostrum and reliable delivery of resultant MOM to premature newborns. Statistical process control charts were used to track progress and provide feedback to staff. Proportions of newborns exposed to MOM by 12 h were compared relative to baseline.

Results: There were 46, 66, and 46 newborns in the baseline, implementation, and sustainability periods, respectively. The primary outcome improved from 48% to 61% in the implementation period (relative change 1.27, 95% CI 0.89, 1.81, p = 0.2), to 69% in sustainability period (relative to baseline 1.45, 95% CI 1.02, 2.08, p = 0.03).

Conclusion: An interdisciplinary team-based, multicycle, quality improvement intervention resulted in increased rates of early exposure to MOM.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding* / methods
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Milk, Human
  • Mothers