Explore the Evidence

The nutrition of preterm neonates

While mothers’ own milk provides the ideal nutrition for term babies, providing adequate nutrition for neonates < 30 weeks unique challenges in clinical practice. Local policies and working practices show considerable variability between NICU units

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Poor evidence on the use of cow milk-derived fortifiers

To meet the specific nutritional needs of preterm neonates most clinicians and dieticians rely on cow milk-derived multinutrient fortifiers. While these have been used for decades and are generally viewed as safe, practices around their use vary widely and the evidence-base supporting their use is relatively weak.

Extensive evidence for Human Milk Derived Fortifier (HMDF)

Fortifiers derived from human milk have been in use since the 1980s, and commercial products appeared on the US market in 2006. Latest data indicates that almost 50% of NICUs in the US use them. They are also widely used in Canada and India.

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