If mom’s own breastmilk or donor breastmilk are not available, your baby will receive special formula specifically made for preterm infants and their unique nutritional needs. These formulas contain a greater number of calories per ounce, more protein, and higher levels of vitamins and minerals than formula meant for full term babies.
Breastmilk, whether it’s mom’s own milk or donor milk, is the best source of nutrition for both full term and preterm infants, conferring health benefits both in the short and long-term. However, breastmilk should be supplemented (fortified) with the nutrients in short supply, particularly with protein, calcium, and phosphate to meet the high nutrient requirements of these tiny preterm infants. Although fortification is widely adopted in NICUs all over the world, it still comes as a surprise to some moms when they hear their breastmilk needs to be supplemented.