Fortified human milk is the reference nutrition for Very Low Birthweight Infants (VLBW) during hospitalisation. Human milk has proven specific beneficial effects in preterm infants but unfortified human milk does not support sufficient nutrient intake and postnatal growth. Nutritional fortification of human milk for VLBW infants improves short term growth without increasing intolerance or the risk of the development of necrotising enterocolitis.
Poor growth postnatally can result in higher incidences of delayed cognitive development and compromised renal function. The aim of fortification is to add precise amounts of fortifier without bacteriological contamination. In this presentation, Jean-Charles Picaud looks at current standardised fortification options and the cost-benefit ratio for health systems around the world. He also looks at recent studies of infant formulas and the effects of fortifying those with lipids. He covers adjustable protein fortification, and the effects on body weight, crown-heel length and head circumference between birth and hospital discharge.