The objective of this study was to determine the growth parameters and nutritional biochemical markers and complications of fortification of human milk by post discharge formula of preterm very low birth weight newborns (VLBW). Fifty preterm infants less than 37 weeks with birth weight less than 1500 g were enrolled in the study. They received parental nutrition and enteral feeding according to our protocol. When enteral feeding reached 100 ml/kg/day, infants were randomized into two groups: group I, Cases, n=25, where post discharge formula (PDF) was used for fortification of their human milk feeding, group II, Controls, n=25 with no fortification. Infants of both groups were given 50% of their required enteral feeding as premature formula. This protocol was used until infants’ weight reached 1800 g. Daily weight; weekly length and head circumference were recorded. Hemoglobin, albumin (Alb), electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and clinical complications were documented. Human milk fortification with PDF resulted in better growth with increase in weight 16.8 and 13.78 g/kg/day (P=0.0430), length 0.76 and 0.58 cm/week (P=0.0027), and head circumference of 0.59 and 0.5 cm/week (P=0.0217) in cases and controls respectively. Duration of hospital stay was less in cases (22.76 versus 28.52 days in controls), P=0.02. No significant changes were found in serum electrolytes, BUN, or Alb between both groups. Hemoglobin was significantly higher in cases, P=0.04. There were no significant clinical complications. Our feeding protocol of fortification of human milk with PDF in preterm very low birth weight newborns resulted in better growth and decrease in length of hospital stay. The use of PDF could be an alternative option for fortification of mothers’ milk for preterm VLBW infants in developing countries with low resources.
Keywords: Breastfeeding; Fortification; Growth; Preterm; Hospital stay