Disparities in Donor Human Milk Supplementation Among Well Newborns

Laura R. Kair, Nichole L. Nidey, Jessie E. Marks, Kirsten Hanrahan, Lorraine Femino, Erik Fernandez y Garcia, Kelli Ryckman, Kelly E. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Donor human milk supplementation for healthy newborns has increased. Racial-ethnic disparities in supplementation have been described in the neonatal intensive care unit but not in the well newborn setting. Research aim: The aim of this study was to identify maternal characteristics associated with donor human milk versus formula supplementation in the well newborn unit. Methods: This retrospective cohort study includes dyads of well newborns and their mothers (N = 678) who breastfed and supplemented with formula (n = 372) or donor human milk (n = 306) during the birth hospitalization at a single hospital in the midwestern United States. Maternal characteristics and infant feeding type were extracted from medical records. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to examine associations between maternal characteristics and feeding type. Results: Nonwhite women were less likely to use donor human milk. Compared to non-Hispanic white women, the largest disparity was with Hispanic (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.28, 95% CI [0.12, 0.65]), then non-Hispanic black (adjusted OR = 0.32, 95% CI [0.13, 0.76]) and Asian women (adjusted OR = 0.34, 95% CI [0.16, 0.74]). Lower donor human milk use was associated with primary language other than English and public versus private insurance. Conclusion: The goal of improving public health through breastfeeding promotion may be inhibited without targeting donor human milk programs to these groups. Identifying the drivers of these disparities is necessary to inform person-centered interventions that address the needs of women with diverse backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • breastfeeding
  • epidemiological methods
  • human milk
  • milk banking
  • supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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