Presentation Information

Sharon L. Unger

Updates on the Use of Human Donor Milk in the NICU

  • Speaker: Sharon L. Unger , MD, FRCP(C)
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

Although human milk confers important health promotion benefits to all infants, vulnerable babies admitted to an NICU stand to benefit even more. Their parents are typically strongly motivated to provide their own milk, although for a variety of reasons, such as parental ill health and stress (often complicated by the pandemic), parents may not have a full volume of their own milk. In this case, donor milk is the recommended supplement to bridge until parent’s milk is available. There is strong research evidence to support the use of human donor milk in preterm infants to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis, while there is less available evidence for the use of donor milk in late preterm infants. There are important differences between parent’s milk and donor milk with respect to their nutrient and non-nutrient components which may be secondary to processing techniques used in creating batches of donor milk. It is important to understand these differences and be able to interpret nutritional labelling on donor milk. Newer techniques in pasteurization may address some of the losses of bioactive molecules in human milk.