Formula versus donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants

Added October 10, 2019

Citation: Quigley M., Embleton N.D., & McGuire W. Formula versus donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD002971.

In preterm and LBW infants, feeding with formula compared with donor breast milk, either as a supplement to maternal expressed breast milk or as a sole diet, results in higher rates of weight gain, linear growth, and head growth and a near doubled risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis. The trial data do not show an effect on all‐cause mortality, or on long‐term growth or neurodevelopment.

When sufficient maternal breast milk is not available, alternative sources of enteral nutrition for preterm or low birth weight infants are donor breast milk or artificial formula. Donor breast milk may retain some of the non‐nutritive benefits of maternal breast milk, but feeding with artificial formula may ensure more consistent delivery of optimal levels of nutrients. Uncertainty exists about the balance of risks and benefits of feeding formula versus donor breast milk for preterm or low birth weight infants. This review aims to determine the effect of feeding with formula compared with donor breast milk on growth and development in preterm or low birth weight infants.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence the prevention and treatment of malnutrition but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about prevention or treatment of malnutirition on the basis of this summary alone.

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