274666 Cost of infant feeding in the neonatal intensive care unit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 11:05 AM - 11:20 AM

Briana Jegier, PhD, CLC , Health Systems Management, Rush University, Chicago, IL
Tricia Johnson, PhD , Rush University, Department of Health Systems Management, Chicago, IL
Janet Engstrom, PhD, RN, CNM, WHNP-BC , Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing, Rush University and Frontier Nursing University, Chicago, IL
Paula Meier, PhD, RN, FAAN , Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing, and Department of Pediatrics, Rush University, Chicago, IL
OBJECTIVES: Human milk (HM) is considered the optimal feeding choice for infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because it is associated with lower incidence and severity of prematurity-related co-morbidities. In the United States, many NICUs have low HM feeding rates and struggle to support mothers who want to provide HM. This study compares the cost of human milk feeding and formula feeding in the NICU. METHODS: This study examined institutional cost and resource data from a 57-bed level III NICU (n=15,000 infant days annually) at an academic medical center and maternal milk volume records from a subset of mothers with infants admitted to the NICU (n=158). Resource utilization and cost data were obtained from budget reports, direct observation of feeding practices and interview with NICU personnel. Maternal milk volume records were obtained from mothers participating in a prospective cohort study. Analyses examined the cost of providing lactation equipment relative to milk volume, and costs for staff time, supplies, space, and formula representative activities. RESULTS: Preliminary results demonstrate that the cost of lactation equipment per 100 mL of HM provided varies from $9.74 for mothers who produce less than 100 mL per day to $0.23 for mothers who produce greater than 700 mL per day. CONCLUSIONS: This study is ongoing but preliminary results suggest that the cost to provide lactation equipment is relatively inexpensive as a function of milk volume. This study can be used by providers and policymakers to improve NICU resource support for HM feeding.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Compare and contrast the cost human milk and formula feeding in the neonatal intensive care unit. Compare the cost of human milk for mothers with low volume and high volume.

Keywords: Cost Issues, Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a breastfeeding researcher for the past 10 years. My area of focus is the cost of breastfeeding, particularly for pump dependent women and infants admitted to the NICU.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.