Fortification of human milk is the standard of care for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants and is required to support adequate postnatal growth and development. Achieving adequate growth velocity and preventing growth faltering is critical for the developing neonatal brain and optimizing long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Mother’s milk is the gold standard nutrition to feed preterm infants, however, it does not provide the nutrients needed to support the growth of VLBW infants. After the decision is made to use mother’s milk (if available) or alternatively, donor human milk, many dilemmas exist with regards to additional treatment decisions surrounding the type of fortification to use, when to fortify, and the duration of fortification. In this article, we will review the differences in mother’s milk compared to donor milk, the different types of human milk fortifiers, the optimal timing of fortification, and discuss when to discontinue human milk fortification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology