Premature Neonates Need Human Milk

This webpage accompanies the poster produced by Ashley Balestreri, Katelyn Carusso, Fiona Jardine, and Disha Savalia

PICO Question

Does exclusive human donor milk feeding compared to any formula milk feeding lead to lower rates of NEC in very premature (< 32 weeks’ gestation) or very low birth weight (< 1,500g) infants in a NICU?


  1. Meek, J. Y., & Noble, L. (2022). Technical report: Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics150(1).
  2. Quigley, M., Embleton, N. D., & McGuire, W. (2019). Formula versus donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. The Cochrane Database of Systematic reviews, 7(7), CD002971. 
  3. Shulhan, J., Dicken, B., Hartling, L., & Larsen, B. M. (2017). Current knowledge of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants and the impact of different types of enteral nutrition products. Advances in Nutrition, 8(1), 80–91. 
  4. Zhang, B., Xiu, W., Dai, Y., & Yang, C. (2020). Protective effects of different doses of human milk on neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis. Medicine, 99(37).
  5. Canizo Vasquez, D., Salas Garcia, S., Izquierdo Renau, M., & Iglesias-Platas, I. (2019). Availability of donor milk for very preterm infants decreased the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis without adversely impacting growth or rates of breastfeeding. Nutrients, 11(8).
  6. Quitadamo P.A., Palumbo G., Villani A., Savastano M., Ravida D., Bisceglia, M., Gentile, A. & Cristalli, P. (2018). Does the opening of a milk bank in NICU cancel the incidence of NEC? Journal of Pediatric Disorders and Neonatal Care 1(1). Retrieved on July 19, 2022, from
  7. Cohen, M., Steffen, E., Axelrod, R., Patel, S. N., Toczylowski, K., Perdon, C., Brown, D., Kaliappan, S., & Myers, M. (2020). Availability of donor human milk decreases the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis in VLBW infants. Advances in Neonatal Care, 21(5), 341–348.

Johns Hopkins Evidence Based Practice Model Appendices

Appendix B

Appendix E

Appendix G

Appendix H


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