Background:The breast milk is the gold standard food for the feeding of the premature baby: When the breast milk is not available, the alternative is represented by the DM. The mothers of premature infants provide a food which is closer to the needs of the vulnerable category of newborns. There are no data on this kind of donation.
Objective: To evaluate the contribution of the milk donation to the HMB of CSS by women who gave birth to premature infants of gestational age <35 weeks and to analyze the macronutrient composition of the “preterm” DM.
Methods: The CSS HMB has recruited 659 donors totalling 2236 liters of DM over a period of 7 years. 38 donors gave birth to a gestational age <35 weeks. A correlation analysis DM with GA and with BW and the comparison between the donor volume averages of the preterm and full-term groups were made.
Results Almost 20% of the DM comes from mothers of premature babies. VLBW mothers contributed for 56% to preterm donation while ELBW mothers contributed for 41%. About 40% of the average total donation derives from mothers who gave birth before the 25 weeks, while a contribution of 46% is attributable to the category of newborns with a GA between 25 and 32 weeks. Besides, some other exceptional examples can be outlined. DM resulted in negative correlation with GA weeks (r=-0.31, p=0.058) and with BW g (r=-0.30, p=0.068).. There is an increase by 18 % in the protein component of the milk deriving from the mothers of the premature infants; the gap in carbohydrates is less significant (5-6%) and the gap in calories is 11% more than the pooled milk.
Conclusions: The study shows that even at very low or extreme gestational age it is possible to obtain an appropriate production of breast milk.