Early Enteral Feeding of the Preterm Infant—Delay until Own Mother’s Breastmilk Becomes Available? (Israel, 2012–2017)

Noa Ofek Shlomai*, Yonatan Shneor Patt, Yaara Wazana, Tomer Ziv-Baran, Tzipora Strauss, Iris Morag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To consider the question of whether to initiate trophic feeds with formula in the absence of own mother’s breastmilk or to wait for breastmilk to be available. Methods: A retrospective study of infants born prior to 32 weeks of gestation during the period 2012–2017 at a single tertiary center in Tel Aviv, Israel. Three TF groups were defined: exclusive breastmilk, mixed, and exclusive formula. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. Logistic regression was used, and adjusted odds ratio and 95% interval were reported. Results: Univariate analysis demonstrated that infants in the exclusive breastmilk group were born earlier, had lower birth weights and lower Apgar scores, were given lower volumes of TF, and were more likely to have a longer hospital stay. Poor composite outcome was more common among the exclusive breastmilk group. Multivariate regression analysis revealed no differences in incidence of early neonatal morbidities between the groups, except for longer duration of parenteral nutrition in the exclusive breastmilk group. Conclusion: In our cohort, exclusive formula TF was not associated with increased risk of any of the studied morbidities. Clinicians should consider this finding in deciding between early TF or fasting while waiting for own mother’s breastmilk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5035
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • breastmilk
  • formula feeding
  • trophic feeding
  • very low birth weight


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