Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Bovine-based breast milk fortifier and neonatal outcomes in premature infants of <32 weeks gestational age

Breast milk (maternal or donor) is the gold standard nutrition for preterm infants. Breast milk fortifier (BMF) provides supplementary nutrition to avoid the high growth failure rates in preterm infants. Conflicting reports have implicated BMF, especially bovine-based products, in the development of necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and persistent safety concerns regarding BMF have led to variability in use across the UK and internationally. This study examines whether the use of bovine-based BMF in preterm infants plays a role in the development of NEC, or an increase in all-cause mortality.

Kate W. Jordan
Clinical Fellow

Laura De Rooy
Consultant Neonatologist

Justin Richards
Consultant Neonatologist

Anay Kulkarni
Consultant Neonatologist

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, St George’s University Hospital, London

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breast milk fortifier (BMF); necrotising enterocolitis (NEC); neonatal outcomes; mortality; safety
Key points
  1. The use of bovine BMF was not associated with adverse outcomes in this study.
  2. BMF use was associated with a decreased rate of adverse outcomes in the most clinically vulnerable infants.
  3. The results from this study encourage the use of BMF in preterm infants in neonatal intensive care settings.

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