Nutrition support: a guide to the latest products
Adequate nutrition is important to ensure that infants who are born vulnerable or premature achieve ideal growth and development. Human breast milk is the optimal form of feeding but there may be a variety of barriers and challenges to breastfeeding. In this issue of Infant we take a look at recent innovations in medical products that aim to improve nutrition in preterm babies.
Breast milk analysis addresses the nutritional needs of preterm infants
Breast milk alone might not always provide enough nutrition for preterm and very low birthweight infants and these babies may require the addition of fortifiers to their feeds. Human breast milk is highly variable in composition in terms of carbohydrate, protein, fats and energy. It is therefore hard to know what needs to be ‘put in’ to adequately fortify the breast milk. Breast milk analysis can measure these macronutrients and from this, the fortification of breast milk can be individualised by ‘targeted fortification’. Available human breast milk analysers (HMAs) include:
- Miris HMA, which measures the energy, fat, carbohydrate, and protein content in human milk within minutes using a small sample volume
- Creamatocrit Plus, which estimates the lipid concentration and calorific density in mothers’ milk
- the Preemie system, said to be the first complete platform for the management of preterm feeding, helping
clinicians to personalise and track the nutritional intake of each preterm infant over time.
The Miris human milk analyser.
Introducing NeoKare’s Mother’s Milk Fortifier
The World Health Organization recommends that babies should be exclusively breast fed for the first six months of life. However, for a variety of different reasons, this is not always possible. A 100% human milk diet is achieved when 100% of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates in an infant’s diet come from human milk.
NeoKare Nutrition Ltd manufactures human milk products offering safe and screened breast milk products for when a mother’s own milk is not available. Based in Worcestershire, UK, NeoKare has established the first and only pharmaceutical grade manufacturing facility for the testing and processing of human milk in Europe. The facility is fully compliant with all relevant standards and guidelines of the Food Standards Authority.
NeoKare’s Mother’s Milk Fortifier made from 100% human breast milk.
Supplementing at the breast to support mother-infant bonding
A supplemental feeding system can aid in providing additional nutrition and help to establish breastfeeding. The device uses a thin, flexible tube with one end placed in a container of breast milk, formula or supplemental nutrition, while the other end is placed in the baby’s mouth while it feeds at the breast. This can be achieved using tape that holds the tube at the mother’s nipple or by inserting the tube in the corner of the baby’s mouth. In this way, the baby receives additional nutrition via the feeding tube as it breastfeeds, while at the same time encouraging skin-to-skin contact and the unique bonding moment between mother and baby.
Currently, a few systems are available including: Medela’s Supplemental Nursing System, the Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer System and the Haakaa Supplemental Feeding Combo.
Medela’s Supplemental Nursing System.