Try the modernized beta website. Learn more about the modernization effort.
Working… Menu

The Milk, Growth and Microbiota Study (MGM)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03220282
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : July 18, 2017
Last Update Posted : September 28, 2021
University of California, Davis
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, San Francisco

Brief Summary:
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.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Preterm Infant Growth Delay Microbial Colonization Breastfeeding Breast Milk Substitute Intolerance Other: Donor milk Other: Preterm infant formula Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
In the U.S., 8% of all births occur between 34 0/7 and 36 6/7 weeks gestation and are regarded as late preterm birth. Compared to term newborns, late preterm newborns have a much higher risk of morbidity and mortality, in part because of difficulty establishing feeding and growth. Breastfeeding optimizes the nutrition of these infants by supporting growth and establishing a healthy intestinal microbiota. However, maternal breast milk production is often delayed after preterm birth, which can hamper optimal growth. When this occurs, clinicians may use formula to supplement breastfeeding. However, formula alters neonatal intestinal microbiota and can impede some of the benefits of a human milk diet. Donor milk from a certified milk bank could possibly be used instead of formula for supplementation prior to the onset of copious maternal milk production. However, the use of banked donor milk has never been studied in late preterm infants. The aim of this proposal is to report the effects of banked donor milk vs. formula on growth and on intestinal microbiota among late preterm, breastfeeding newborns who require additional nutrition before copious maternal milk is available. This study's investigators therefore propose a randomized, controlled trial enrolling late preterm newborns. Newborns will be randomly assigned either to breastfeed with additional formula feedings, or to breastfeed with additional donor milk feedings. The study's outcomes will be: (1) growth (rate of weight change), and (2) intestinal microbiota. If the study finds that temporary use of donor milk supports growth and maintains healthy intestinal microbiota until copious maternal milk becomes available, temporary use of donor milk might be a postnatal strategy to bolster neonatal nutrition and optimize nutritional support and growth for late preterm infants.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 48 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Randomized controlled trial with 2 arms
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description: Participant, PI, enrolling nurse and clinical care team will not be blinded as to treatment assignment. Outcomes will be assessed by blinded investigators.
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Milk, Growth and Microbiota: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (RCT) of Donor Milk vs. Formula to Supplement Breastfeeding Late Preterm Newborns
Actual Study Start Date : October 30, 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 30, 2022
Estimated Study Completion Date : July 31, 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Donor milk
Pasteurized donor breast milk
Other: Donor milk
For late preterm newborns who are breastfeeding and whose mothers are not making enough breast milk yet to meet their nutritional needs, the study will compare the intervention of banked donor breast milk with the control of preterm infant formula.
Other Name: Donor breast milk

Placebo Comparator: Preterm infant formula
Preterm formula determined by clinical practice
Other: Preterm infant formula
Preterm formula determined by clinical practice
Other Name: Formula

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Weight change [ Time Frame: Between enrollment and 24 hours after enrollment ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Bifidobacteria [ Time Frame: 1 week and 1 month after enrollment ]

  2. Lactobacillus [ Time Frame: 1 week and 1 month after enrollment ]

  3. Clostridium [ Time Frame: 1 week and 1 month after enrollment ]

  4. Weight change [ Time Frame: Between enrollment and 48 hours after enrollment ]

  5. Weight change [ Time Frame: Between enrollment and 7 days of age ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 96 Hours   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Late preterm newborns >=34 weeks and <37 weeks gestation
  • Breastfeeding
  • Clinical team plans to start supplementation

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Mothers are producing copious breast milk
  • Birth weight <2100gm
  • Any maternal or infant contraindication to breastfeeding

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03220282

Layout table for location contacts
Contact: Valerie Flaherman, MD, MPH 415-502-6166
Contact: Michelle Rait, RN 415-502-1594

Layout table for location information
United States, California
University of California, San Francisco Medical Center Recruiting
San Francisco, California, United States, 94122
Principal Investigator: Valerie Flaherman, MD,MPH         
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Francisco
University of California, Davis
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Valerie Flaherman, MD, MPH University of California, San Francisco
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: University of California, San Francisco Identifier: NCT03220282    
Other Study ID Numbers: 17-21587
First Posted: July 18, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 28, 2021
Last Verified: September 2021
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: The final data set will include information on infant weight and intestinal microbiota, as well as data on other clinical and demographic variables. Once the study has concluded and the data has been de-identified, the investigators will share the de-identified data with other users who agree to a data sharing plan that limits use of the data to research purposes only, excludes any use of the data to identify individual participants and destroys the data once the proposed research has been completed.

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Communicable Diseases
Premature Birth
Obstetric Labor, Premature
Obstetric Labor Complications
Pregnancy Complications
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes