Papers And Originals

Continuous Intragastric Milk Feeds in Infants of Low Birth Weight

Br Med J 1972; 3 doi: (Published 02 September 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;3:547
  1. H. B. Valman,
  2. C. D. Heath,
  3. R. J. K. Brown


    In a feeding trial 66 infants of low birth weight received continuous intragastric milk feeds from the fourth hour of life, starting with 60 ml/kg/24 hr and reaching a maximum of 300 ml/kg/24 hr on the ninth day. Each infant received only full-strength milk, which was either expressed human breast milk or SMA-S26 (a proprietary low-protein adapted cows' milk) or half-cream Regal milk (partly-skimmed evaporated cows' milk). For various reasons 10 babies had to be withdrawn, and the final assessment was made on the 56 who completed the trial successfully.

    Persistent vomiting was a problem in only four infants. In two of them the trial was continued after gastric lavage and in the other two vomiting stopped when the volume was reduced. Despite a careful search no evidence was found of aspiration of feeds in any infant. Continuous intragastric milk infusion was shown to be a safe method of feeding infants of low birth weight and SMA-S26 was almost as well tolerated as human milk. Because of the high-protein content of half-cream cows' milk preparations and the resultant high plasma amino-acid levels when they are given in these large volumes they should be avoided for this type of feeding although they produce better weight gains in the first week of life.