Premature infants have huge nutritional needs that breastmilk alone can’t meet. Requiring up to 40% more calories and protein than a full-term baby, premature infants need to make up for the growth they missed in the womb.
To provide the added calories and protein, NICUs often add a “human milk fortifier” to mother’s own milk or pasteurized donor breastmilk for premature babies born weighing 3.3 lbs or less. There are two types of “human milk fortifiers” available in the NICU: cow milk–based and donor breastmilk–based. As both are labeled “human milk fortifier,” it is important to ask which type your baby is receiving in the NICU.
Cow milk–based fortifiers have been in use for many years, and they have been linked to an increased risk of complications, many of them life-threatening for the smallest babies, due to difficulty processing cow milk protein. Prolacta Bioscience makes fortifiers from 100% donor breastmilk instead of cow milk. Clinical evidence shows Prolacta’s fortifiers can help reduce the complications of prematurity, resulting in better health outcomes and shorter hospital stays in the NICU.
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