Human Milk Fortification in India

Speaker: N. Kler Presented at: 81st Nestle Nutrition Workshop, South Africa


In the past, many infants born preterm did not survive. With improvements in neonatal medicine, the mortality rates of preterm infants have decreased dramatically in recent years. This presented a new challenge for neonatal clinicians, as many of these infants are at risk of growth failure. It is well known that breast milk cannot meet the nutritional demands for catch up growth. For this reason, human milk fortification has become standard clinical care for Low Birth Weight and Small for Gestational Age infants. This presentation described the practice of human milk fortification in India. Of note, human milk fortification is not part of routine care in India because WHO and Indian guidelines on feeding preterm infants do not specifically recommend the use of human milk fortifiers. Kler explores the barriers to clinician acceptability of human milk fortifiers in India, and presented data on the advantages and importance of fortification for this population.