Factors Associated with the Use of Pasteurized Donor Milk for Healthy Newborns: Experience from the First Human Milk Bank in Vietnam
Pasteurized donor milk (PDM) is typically prescribed to preterm or low birthweight newborns when their mother's own milk is unavailable. In surplus, PDM is prescribed to meet the nutritional needs of healthy newborns in the first few days of life. However, its overuse can undermine efforts to promote and support breastfeeding, waste resources, and reduce the availability of PDM for at-risk newborns. We conducted this study to examine factors associated with the prescription and prolonged use
... 8 h) of privately purchased PDM to healthy newborns. Methods: Prospective observational study of 2440 mothers of healthy, term, and normal birthweight newborns born at Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children between April and August 2019. In addition to the descriptive analysis, we performed multiple logistic regressions to examine factors associated with the prescription of PDM (n = 2440) and prolonged PDM use among those who used PDM (n = 566). Results: Twenty-three percent (566/2440) of healthy, term, and birthweight ≥2500 g newborns received PDM and were included in the study. The prevalence of PDM use was higher for cesarean births (OR: 2.05; 95% CI: 1.66, 2.55) and among male newborns (OR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.09, 1.62), but lower for farmers or workers (vs. other jobs; OR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.54, 0.93), family income <10 million VND (vs. ≥10 million VND; OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.82), and duration of skin-to-skin ≥90 min (vs. <90 min; OR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.39, 0.76). Prolonged PDM use (12.4% of 566 newborns who used PDM) was associated with the mother having a higher socioeconomic status job (professional, small trader or homemaker; OR: 4.00; 95% CI: 1.39, 12.5), being a first-time mother (OR: 3.39; 95% CI: 1.92, 6.01) or having a cesarean birth (OR: 2.09; 95% CI: 1.02, 4.28). Conclusions: The prescription and prolonged use of privately purchased PDM was associated with non-medical factors unrelated to the ability to breastfeed effectively. The findings suggest the need for improved breastfeeding communication, counseling and support skills for health staff, development, and application of strict criteria on PDM use for healthy newborns and better routine monitoring of PDM use over time.