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Breastfeeding clinical trials at UCSF
2 research studies open to new patients

  • The Milk, Growth and Microbiota Study

    open to all eligible people

    Late preterm infants, who are born at 34, 35 or 36 weeks gestation, often have difficulty feeding, establishing growth, and fighting off infection. Breastfeeding provides improved nutrition to help fight infection, in part because breast milk encourages the growth of healthy bacteria (microbiota) in the infant's intestine. However, when mothers give birth preterm, their breasts are usually not quite ready to make milk; it can take several days to have enough breast milk to match a baby's nutritional needs. If there is not yet enough breast milk, formula is often used. However, formula can interfere with the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria. An alternate nutritional option is donor milk from a certified milk bank, which is available in all neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in San Francisco. However, no scientific studies have yet studied donor milk for late preterm infants, so currently all San Francisco NICUs (as well as the large majority of NICUs nationwide) reserve donor milk for infants born at <34 weeks. This study's investigators therefore propose the "Milk, Growth and Microbiota (MGM) Study," a randomized controlled trial to compare banked donor milk to formula for breastfeeding late preterm infants born in San Francisco. Once enrolled in MGM, infants will be randomly assigned to receive either formula or banked donor milk if they need additional nutrition until their mothers are making enough milk. After enrolling the babies, investigators will weigh them daily to assess their growth. The investigators will also collect infant bowel movements at baseline, 1 week and 1 month to determine whether donor milk vs. formula impacts the type of bacteria in the baby's intestine. If the study's results show that donor milk optimizes growth while helping establish healthy bacteria in the baby's intestine, donor milk might be postnatal strategy to bolster neonatal nutrition for late preterm infants.

    San Francisco, California

  • Using the Electronic Health Record to Guide Management of Newborn Weight Loss

    open to all eligible people

    Weight loss is normal for healthy newborns in the first few days, especially for those exclusively breastfed, who may have low enteral intake for several days. Although most newborns tolerate this early period of weight loss well, those with pronounced weight loss become at increased risk of feeding problems and hyperbilirubinemia, which are the two most common causes of neonatal readmission. To facilitate the assessment of risk for an individual newborn, the Newborn Weight Tool (NEWT) has been developed to categorize each infant's weight loss according to population norms, so that formula can be administered when weight loss is pronounced and avoided when weight loss is normal. The Healthy Start study will be a randomized, controlled trial testing whether displaying NEWT to clinicians providing newborn care can improve neonatal health outcomes including formula use, weight loss and readmission. Newborns will be randomly assigned either to display weight with NEWT weight categorization to their providers in the electronic health record (EHR) or to usual care (weight displayed without NEWT categorization).

    San Francisco, California

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