IQ Was Not Improved by Post‐Discharge Fortification of Breastmilk in Very Preterm Infants

Anja Klamer*, Line H. Toftlund, Kristjan Grimsson, Susanne Halken, Gitte Zachariassen

*Corresponding author for this work

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(1) Very preterm infants are at increased risk of cognitive deficits, motor impairments, and behavioural problems. Studies have tied insufficient nutrition and growth to an increased risk of neurodevelopmental impairment; (2) Methods: Follow‐up study on cognitive and neuropsycholog-ical development at 6 years corrected age (CA) in 214 very preterm infants, including 141 breastfed infants randomised to mother’s own milk (MOM) with (F‐MOM) or without (U‐MOM) fortification and 73 infants fed a preterm formula (PF‐group), from shortly before discharge to 4 months CA. Infants with serious congenital anomalies or major neonatal morbidities were excluded prior to intervention. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV was used for cognitive testing, and the children’s parents completed the Five to Fifteen Questionnaire (FTF); (3) Results: Post‐discharge fortification of MOM did not improve either full‐scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) with a median of 104 vs. 105.5 (p = 0.29), subdomain scores, or any domain score on the FTF questionnaire. Compared to the PF group, the MOM group had significantly better verbal comprehension score with a median of 110 vs. 106 (p = 0.03) and significantly better motor skills scores on the FTF questionnaire (p = 0.01); (4) Conclusions: The study supports breastfeeding without fortification as post‐discharge nutrition in very preterm infants, and it seems superior to preterm formula.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2709
Issue number13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • breastfeeding
  • cognitive development
  • Five to Fifteen Questionnaire
  • fortification
  • post‐discharge nutrition
  • preterm infant
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV


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