What is breast milk fortifier?

Breastmilk is best

Breastmilk is considered to be especially good for premature babies because it provides important non-nutritional components such as antibodies, enzymes, hormones and growth factors.

…. But it may not be enough for premature babies

Studies have shown that premature babies fed on human breast milk alone do not grow as well as those on fortified breast milk.

This is because breast milk does not contain enough of the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and salts needed by rapidly growing premature infants. Adding a breast milk fortifier, in the form of a powder mixed with the breast milk, provides additional energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and salts needed to help your baby grow.

Usually we add breast milk fortifier to mother’s breast milk for babies under 1800g once they are on full milk feeds.

What is breast milk fortifier?

Breast milk fortifiers are made from processed cows’ milk protein with added nutritional supplements. The protein from the cows’ milk is broken down (hydrolysed) into small fragments. This makes it easy to dissolve and also means that the fortifier does not contain whole proteins, which makes it extremely unlikely that the baby will develop cows’ milk allergy.

A few very small babies have difficulty tolerating the high mineral content of the fortifier. Occasionally we will stop the fortifier or use it at half strength for a short period of time. Usually tolerance improves after a few days and full fortifier can be introduced again.

How is it used?

In the first few days, the type of fortifier used allows for one sachet to be added to 20mls of milk. The appropriate volume for your baby is then drawn up and given.

When the feed volume becomes larger, a different type of fortifier is used, one that allows for one sachet to be added to 50mls of milk.

  • One sachet of fortifier is added to 50ml breast milk, just before the feed.

  • Shake gently for 1-2 minutes before use.

  • Once fortifier is added, the breast milk should be used as soon as possible. It should not be used after 24 hours.

  • Fortifier may be on fortifier until s/he can manage to fully breastfeed.

What is breast milk fortifier?

All of these nutrients are already present in breast milk. Breast Milk fortifiers add extra.

Nutritional composition of breast milk fortifier

 Protein Phosphorus
 Fat Magnesium
 Carbohydrate Zinc
VitaminsVitamin A Copper
 Vitamin D  
 Vitamin EElectrolytesSodium
 Vitamin K Potassium
 Thiamine (Vitamin B1) Chloride
 Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)  
 Vitamin B6  
 Vitamin B12  
 Folic Acid  
 Pantothenic Acid  
 Vitamin C