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J Pediatr. 1983 Jul;103(1):95-104.

Growth, metabolic response, and development in very-low-birth-weight infants fed banked human milk or enriched formula. I. Neonatal findings.


Banked human milk has been widely used, although its composition and nutritional adequacy for preterm infants are uncertain. We randomized 76 healthy infants of less than or equal to 1500 gm birth weight to ad lib feedings of frozen BHM or a protein-mineral-calorie-enriched formula (Similac Special Care) designed to sustain intrauterine accretion rates; BHM contained 2.2 gm fat/100 ml and 60 kcal/100 ml (gross energy). Infants fed BHM ingested more milk (197 vs 165 ml/kg/day) but less gross energy (118 vs 143 kcal/kg/day); grew less rapidly in weight (15 vs 30 gm/day), length (0.7 vs 1.1 cm/wk), and head circumference (0.8 vs 1.2 cm/wk); and were discharged at a lower weight (2200 vs 2348 gm) and older age (61 vs 47 day) than infants fed formula (P less than 0.02). At 37 weeks' postmenstrual age, infants fed BHM were less responsive to Brazelton inanimate stimuli (mean total score 5.0 vs 7.5; P less than 0.02). With few exceptions, blood amino acids, pH, and serum electrolyte values were similar in both groups. The different caloric intake of our feeding groups may explain only part of the large difference in growth rate. Donor milk should not be fed to preterm infants unless it has been analyzed and the feedings shown to provide a nutrient intake considered appropriate to the needs of these infants.

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