Donor breast milk vs formula – a randomized trial

In a double-blind multicenter trial very-low birth weight infants with inadequate supply of their mother’s own milk were randomly assigned to receive either donor breast milk with bovine fortifier or formula (for 90 days or until discharge). There were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups in either the primary outcome of neurodevelopmental status at 18 months corrected age, or in secondary outcomes, which included a dichotomous mortality and morbidity index. The incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis was lower with donor breast milk than with formula (2% vs 7%). More children in the donor milk group had a cognitive composite scores indicative of neuroimpairment (<85) than in the formula group (27% vs 16.2%).

Effect of supplemental donor human milk compared with preterm formula. O’Connor et al, 2016