In-hospital formula supplementation and breastfeeding initiation in infants born to women with pregestational diabetes mellitus

Cordero, L.* , Stenger, M.R., Landon, M.B., Nankervis, C.A. | JNPM 2020;

To ascertain the rate of in-hospital supplementation as it relates to early breastfeeding (BF) and early formula feeding (FF) and its effects on BF (exclusive and partial) at the time of discharge for infants born to women with pregestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM).
METHODS: Retrospective cohort investigation of 282 women with PGDM who intended to BF and their asymptomatic infants admitted to the newborn nursery for blood glucose monitoring and routine care. Early feeding was defined by the initial feeding if given within four hours of birth.
RESULTS: Of the 282 mother-infant dyads, for 134 (48%) early feeding was BF and for 148 (52%) early feeding was FF. Times from birth to BF and FF (median 1 hr, 0.3–6) were similar, while the time to first BF for those who FF and supplemented was longer (median 6 hr., 1–24). Ninety-seven infants (72%) who first BF also supplemented. Of these, 22 (23%) BF exclusively, 67 (69%) BF partially and 8 (8%) FF at discharge. One hundred seventeen (79%) who first FF also supplemented. Of these, 21 (18%) BF exclusively, 76 (65%) BF partially and 20 (17%) FF at discharge.
CONCLUSION: Regardless of the type of first feeding, the majority of infants born to women with PGDM require supplementation. Even when medically indicated, in-hospital supplementation is an obstacle, albeit not absolute, to exclusive BF at discharge. Parents should be reminded that occasional supplementation should not deter resumption and continuation of BF.

*Corresponding Author: 

Leandro Cordero, MD, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, N118 Doan Hall. 410 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1228. Tel.: +1 614 293 8660; Fax: +1 614 293 7676; E-mail: