Formula vs Donor Breast Milk for Preterm or Low-Birth-Weight Infants

Formula vs Donor Breast Milk for Preterm or Low-Birth-Weight Infants

Formula vs Donor Breast Milk for Preterm or Low-Birth-Weight Infants


Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Formula vs Donor Breast Milk for Preterm or Low-Birth-Weight Infants
From $10/Page
Order Essay

Is formula or donor breast milk more beneficial for the growth and development of preterm or low-birth-weight infants when maternal breast milk is not available?


A systematic review of 12 trials with a total of 1,871 participants.


The growth and development of preterm or low-birth-weight infants can be challenged by gastrointestinal immaturity. Immature gut function and inflammatory response in preterm infants are associated with invasive infections, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Early diagnosis remains difficult, and diagnosis is often too late to prevent infant mortality or ongoing neurodevelopmental disability. For nurses working in the special care nursery, decreasing risk of infection by establishing progressive infant feeding, preferably using maternal breast milk, is the preferred route to sustained growth and development.

Fresh breast milk is the best source of naturally occurring immunoglobulins, which inhibit harmful bacterial colonization in the infant gut, instead promoting effective absorption of nutrients and gut maturity. Where fresh breast milk is insufficient or unavailable, donor milk is considered the next best choice despite its reduced antiinflammatory benefits, followed by substitute artificial milk (preterm formula), which has no antiinflammatory benefits but measurable nutrition.


The objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness of infant formula versus breast milk (fortified or not) on the rates of growth and development in preterm or low-birth-weight infants in special care nurseries.

Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cluster RCTs of infants younger than 37 weeks’ gestation or weighing less than 2,500 g at birth in special care nurseries. Interventions were enteral or parenteral feeding methods using formula or donor breast milk. The primary outcomes were short- and long-term growth, including time to regain birth weight and developmental markers assessed at six months corrected age; and neurodevelopment, including developmental delay and disability assessed from 12 months corrected age. Secondary outcomes were mortality, confirmed NEC, time to establish full enteral feeding, feeding intolerance, and invasive infections.

The review included 12 trials with a total of 1,879 participants. Four trials compared standard term formula with unfortified donor breast milk, both as the sole diet; and eight trials compared preterm formula with donor breast milk, either used alone or supplementary to maternal breast milk (in four trials the breast milk was fortified). It wasn’t possible to determine conclusively that formula-fed infants regained birth weight sooner than those fed donor milk. Only three trials reported faster weight gain with formula, two reported no significant difference, and others did not measure time to regain birth weight.

In nine trials, rates of hospital weight gain were higher in formula-fed infants than in those fed donor milk (moderate certainty). Greater differences were reported between preterm formula use and unfortified donor milk. Nine trials determined with moderate certainty that formula-fed infants were at a higher risk for NEC.


Special care nursery infants fed preterm formula regained birth weight sooner and had higher rates of consistent weight gain than infants given term formula or donor breast milk. However, preterm or low-birth-weight infants fed formula rather than donor milk had significantly increased incidences of NEC.

Although preterm formula provides quicker initial weight gain and developmental growth in preterm and low-birth-weight infants than donor milk, the increased incidence of NEC requires consideration prior to clinical decision-making.

SOURCE DOCUMENTQuigley M, et al. Formula versus donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2019;7:CD002971.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 20% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with My Course Writer
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 10k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
English 101
Customer 452547, March 22nd, 2022
Good job! Thank you
Customer 452487, October 17th, 2021
Excellent. Thank you.
Customer 452487, August 26th, 2021
Thank you so much! I appreciate what you do and all of the great help you've given me!
Customer 452483, September 6th, 2021
English 101
This writer was very quick with the draft and even faster with the revision! Thank you!
Customer 452603, May 30th, 2022
Healthcare Writing & Communications
Perfect! Thank you so much for all of your help!
Customer 452483, October 31st, 2021
Very clear, and complete information presented. I, thank you for all of your hard work, appreciate it!
Customer 452483, August 9th, 2021
English 101
Great work! Thanks!
Customer 452567, August 2nd, 2022
Thank you so much for all of your hard work, appreciate every bit of it!
Customer 452483, September 6th, 2021
Healthcare Writing & Communications
Excellent!! You’re awesome, thank you very much for all of your hard work & help!!
Customer 452483, October 24th, 2021
Healthcare Writing & Communications
Perfect! Thank you for also remembering to highlight the necessary words. Appreciate all of your help and hard work!
Customer 452483, November 7th, 2021
Appreciate all of your hard work! Thank you so much!!
Customer 452483, September 14th, 2021
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
2 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
20% OFF your first order
Use a coupon 20OFF and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 20% OFF Order in Chat