BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to determine whether human milk supplemented with a novel human milk-based human milk fortifier (Novel HMF), compared with a bovine milk-based HMF (Bovine HMF), supports preterm infant growth through 36 weeks' postmenstrual age (PMA).
METHODS: This single-center, prospective trial compared growth and nutrition outcomes of preterm infants provided a human milk-based diet (mother's own milk or donor milk) supplemented with a Novel HMF with historic controls provided Bovine HMF. Preterm infants with an estimated gestational age (EGA) between 23 and 33 weeks' PMA and birth weight between 750 and 1800 g were eligible for study inclusion. Weight, length, and head circumference (HC) were monitored weekly. The occurrence of late-onset sepsis, nil per os (NPO) days, necrotizing enterocolitis, metabolic acidosis, and serious adverse events were monitored.
RESULTS: Birth weight, length, HC, and EGA were similar between the Novel HMF (n = 37) and Bovine HMF (n = 49) groups. The days to regain birth weight was shorter in the Novel HMF group (9.4 ± 4.0 vs 11.4 ± 4.8, P = .0343), with similar weight gain (g/day) from birth to 36 weeks' PMA. Adjusted weight growth velocity (g/kg/day) was significantly higher in the Novel HMF group at 14 and 21 days but similar at 36 weeks' PMA. The Novel HMF group experienced fewer NPO days with a similar total number of feeding days.
CONCLUSIONS: A novel, multinutrient, human milk-based HMF is well tolerated and meets the nutrition needs of preterm infants.