Targeted Breast Milk Fortification for very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) Infants: Nutritional Intake, Growth Outcome and Body Composition
Parat, S.; Raza, P.; Kamleh, M.; Super, D.; Groh-Wargo, S.
Despite improvements in nutritional management, preterm infants continue to face high rates of postnatal growth restriction. Because variability in breast milk composition may result in protein and energy deficits, targeted fortification has been advocated. We conducted an interventional study to compare body composition and growth outcomes of very low birth weight infants fed targeted protein-fortified human milk (HM) with those fed standard fortified HM. If mother's own milk was not available, donor milk was used. Weekly analysis of HM with mid-infrared spectroscopy was conducted and additional protein was added to the fortified HM to ensure a protein intake of 4 g/kg/day. Weekly anthropometric measurements were done. Prior to discharge or at 37 weeks, corrected age skinfold thickness (SFT) measurements as well as body composition measurement using air displacement plethysmography were done. Among 36 preterm infants enrolled, those in the targeted group (n = 17) received more protein and had a larger flank SFT at study end than those in the standard group (n = 19). A pilot post-hoc analysis of subjects having at least 30 intervention days showed a 3% higher fat-free mass in the targeted group. Use of a targeted fortification strategy resulted in a higher protein intake and fat-free mass among those receiving longer intervention.