Project Title

Effects of Breast Milk Feedings versus Formula Feedings on Health and Developmental Outcomes in Preterm Infants: Systematic Literature Review

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Nursing

Research Mentor Name

Doreen Wagner

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Background: Gestation is the period of time between conception and birth. Infants being born between 20 and 37 weeks before completion of pregnancy are considered preterm. Infants who are born preterm are at risk for an abundance of acute and long-term complications related to health and development. Some of these include necrotizing enterocolitis, lack of lung surfactant, feeding intolerance, and infection. Since preterm infants are more prone to contract infections due to their underdeveloped immune systems, there has long been a debate whether mother’s breast milk versus formula milk is more beneficial in the growth and development of the preterm infant. The purpose of this project was to explore the health and development outcomes in breastfed babies versus formula fed babies. Purpose: The purpose of this systematic literature review is to determine the benefits of breastfeeding on a preterm infant’s development and health compared to formula feeding. Methodology: Studies have been systematically reviewed using the John Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Model. Databases used include MEDLINE Complete, PubMed, CINAHL, and Complementary Index. Keywords used to facilitate our search include preterm infants, breastfeeding, breast milk, formula feeding, development, and growth. A PRISMA Flow Diagram summarizes our systematic research screening process based on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twenty articles were appraised for evidence and quality levels before analysis of results. Results: Preliminary results suggest that breastfeeding supplies infants with the most benefits for their development and their health. Final analysis will be shared at the Symposium.

Disciplines

Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Nursing

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Effects of Breast Milk Feedings versus Formula Feedings on Health and Developmental Outcomes in Preterm Infants: Systematic Literature Review

Background: Gestation is the period of time between conception and birth. Infants being born between 20 and 37 weeks before completion of pregnancy are considered preterm. Infants who are born preterm are at risk for an abundance of acute and long-term complications related to health and development. Some of these include necrotizing enterocolitis, lack of lung surfactant, feeding intolerance, and infection. Since preterm infants are more prone to contract infections due to their underdeveloped immune systems, there has long been a debate whether mother’s breast milk versus formula milk is more beneficial in the growth and development of the preterm infant. The purpose of this project was to explore the health and development outcomes in breastfed babies versus formula fed babies. Purpose: The purpose of this systematic literature review is to determine the benefits of breastfeeding on a preterm infant’s development and health compared to formula feeding. Methodology: Studies have been systematically reviewed using the John Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Model. Databases used include MEDLINE Complete, PubMed, CINAHL, and Complementary Index. Keywords used to facilitate our search include preterm infants, breastfeeding, breast milk, formula feeding, development, and growth. A PRISMA Flow Diagram summarizes our systematic research screening process based on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twenty articles were appraised for evidence and quality levels before analysis of results. Results: Preliminary results suggest that breastfeeding supplies infants with the most benefits for their development and their health. Final analysis will be shared at the Symposium.