The Initial Maternal Cost of Providing 100 mL of Human Milk for Very Low Birth Weight Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.
Breastfeeding Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.25). 04/2010; 5(2):71-7. DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2009.0063
Source: PubMed


Human milk (HM) feeding is associated with lower incidence and severity of costly prematurity-specific morbidities compared to formula feeding in very low birth weight (VLBW; <1,500 g) infants. However, the costs of providing HM are not routinely reimbursed by payers and can be a significant barrier for mothers. This study determined the initial maternal cost of providing 100 mL of HM for VLBW infants during the early neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay.
This secondary analysis examined data from 111 mothers who provided HM for their VLBW infants during the early NICU stay. These data were collected during a multisite, randomized clinical trial where milk output and time spent pumping were recorded for every pumping session (n = 13,273). The cost analysis examined the cost of the breast pump rental, pump kit, and maternal opportunity cost (an estimate of the cost of maternal time).
Mean daily milk output and time spent pumping were 558.2 mL (SD = 320.7; range = 0-2,024) and 98.7 minutes (SD = 38.6; range = 0-295), respectively. The mean cost of providing 100 mL of HM varied from $2.60 to $6.18 when maternal opportunity cost was included and from $0.95 to $1.55 when it was excluded. The cost per 100 mL of HM declined with every additional day of pumping and was most sensitive to the costs of the breast pump rental and pump kit.
These findings indicate that HM is reasonably inexpensive to provide and that the maternal cost of providing milk is mitigated by increasing milk output over the early NICU stay.

Download full-text


Available from: Janet Engstrom
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The feeding of human milk (milk from the infant's own mother; excluding donor milk) during the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) stay reduces the risk of costly and handicapping morbidities in premature infants. The mechanisms by which human milk provides this protection are varied and synergistic, and appear to change over the course of the NICU stay. The fact that these mechanisms include specific human milk components that are not present in the milk of other mammals means that human milk from the infant's mother cannot be replaced by commercial infant or donor human milk, and the feeding of human milk should be a NICU priority. Recent evidence suggests that the impact of human milk on improving infant health outcomes and reducing the risk of prematurity-specific morbidities is linked to specific critical exposure periods in the post-birth period during which the exclusive use of human milk and the avoidance of commercial formula may be most important. Similarly, there are other periods when high doses, but not necessarily exclusive use of human milk, may be important. This article reviews the concept of "dose and exposure period" for human milk feeding in the NICU to precisely measure and benchmark the amount and timing of human milk use in the NICU. The critical exposure periods when exclusive or high doses of human milk appear to have the greatest impact on specific morbidities are reviewed. Finally, the current best practices for the use of human milk during and after the NICU stay for premature infants are summarized.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Clinics in perinatology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to provide an economic assessment of the incremental costs associated with obtaining the World Health Organization and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund designation as a Infant-Friendly hospital. We hypothesized that baby-friendly hospitals will have higher costs than similar non-baby-friendly hospitals. Data from the 2007 American Hospital Association and the 2007 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Cost Reports were used to compare labor and delivery costs in baby-friendly and non-baby-friendly hospitals. Operational costs per delivery were calculated using a matched-pairs analysis of a sample of baby-friendly and non-baby-friendly hospitals in the United States. Costs associated with labor-and-delivery diagnosis-related codes were analyzed for each baby-friendly hospital and compared with the mean and median costs incurred by non-baby-friendly hospitals. Nursery plus labor-and-delivery costs for the baby-friendly sites were $2205 per delivery, compared with $2170 for the non-baby-friendly matched pair. Baby-friendly facilities have slightly higher costs than non-baby-friendly facilities, ranging from 1.6% to 5%, but these costs were not statistically significant (P > .05). These results suggest that becoming baby-friendly is relatively cost-neutral for a typical acute care hospital. Although the overall expense of providing baby-friendly hospital nursery services is greater than nursery service costs of non-baby-friendly hospitals, the cost difference was not statistically significant. Additional research is needed to compare the economic impact of maternal and infant health benefits from breastfeeding versus the incremental expenses of becoming a baby-friendly hospital.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · PEDIATRICS
  • Source

    Preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Breastfeeding Medicine
Show more