Aim: To determine whether growth, feeding tolerance and infectious events of preterm infants is related to the proportion of intake of mother’s own raw milk (maternal milk) versus pooled pasteurized banked breast milk (donor milk).
Methods: This is a prospective observational study of 55 premature infants born less than 32 weeks of gestational age admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at the Children’s Hospital of Toulouse during two 6-month periods from 2003 to 2005. Enrolled infants were exclusively on enteral feeds with maternal milk ± donor milk.
Results: Mean gestational age was 28.6 weeks (SD 1.5) and mean birth weight 1105 grams (SD 282). During the time of exclusively breast milk feeds, weight gain (g/kg/day) was correlated to the proportion of maternal milk consumed (p = 0.0048, r = 0.4). Necrotizing enterocolitis was inversely correlated to the amount of maternal milk. The amount of maternal milk did not impact on infectious events.
Conclusion: Mother’s own raw milk improves weight gain compared with donor milk in preterm infants. Lactation strategies should be sought that helps mothers to increase their milk production.