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The impact of a Donor Human Milk Program on the provision of mothers’ own milk at discharge in very low birth weight infants



Examine the effect of a donor human milk (DHM) program on mothers’ own milk feedings at discharge for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.

Study design

A single center retrospective analysis of feeding outcomes in preterm infants. Data were assigned as: (1) pre DHM era (2) Bridge DHM era (3) Full DHM era. Each era was divided into infants <1500 g (n = 724) or ≥1500 g (n = 784).


Both the percentage of mothers’ own milk feeds and percent of infants exclusively receiving mothers’ own milk at discharge were increased in the <1500 g (p = 0.003, p = 0.002) and the ≥1500 g group (p = 0.007, p = 0.004) respectively, following the introduction of DHM for VLBW infants.


Practice changes that accompany a donor milk program likely play a prominent role in the provision of mothers’ own milk and exclusivity of breast milk feedings at discharge for very low birth weight infants.

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Fig. 1: Methodology of study and contemporaneous group selection.
Fig. 2

Data availability

The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are not publicly available through a repository but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request and may require institutional data agreements.


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Authors and Affiliations



JC, investigator, responsible for study concept, design, implementation, data analysis, and interpretation, wrote manuscript as part of a doctoral scholarly project. AB and DD, assisted with study concept, design, implementation, and manuscript editing. MG, principal investigator, provided the feeding data from the NICU Lactation registry and contributed to analysis and interpretation of data. PT contributed as doctoral committee member for the study proposal and final doctoral defense. DAB assisted with the statistical analysis.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Janette Corallo.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Corallo, J., Bieda, A., Garland, M. et al. The impact of a Donor Human Milk Program on the provision of mothers’ own milk at discharge in very low birth weight infants. J Perinatol 42, 1473–1479 (2022).

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