Five-Year Secular Trends and Predictors of Nonconsent to Receive Donor Milk in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Elizabeth A. Brownell, Kelsey C. Smith, Erin L. Cornell, Patricia A. Esposito, Catherine C. Wiley, Zhu Wang, Abigail W. Bushley, Mary M. Lussier, James I. Hagadorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify independent maternal and infant factors associated with donor milk nonconsent and to examine secular trends in nonconsent rates. Materials and Methods: Mothers of infants eligible to receive donor milk (≤32 weeks of gestation or ≤1,800 g) born between August 2010 and 2015 were included. Multivariable logistic regression modeled odds of nonconsent. Results: Of the 486 mother/infant dyads from the first 5 years of the donor milk program, nonwhite race (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-2.76) and increasing gestational age (aOR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03-1.21) independently predicted nonconsent. Each year the program existed, there was a 48% reduction in odds of nonconsent (aOR 0.52; 95% CI 0.43-0.62). The most common reason given for nonconsent was "it's someone else's milk." Conclusion: Program duration was associated with reduced nonconsent rates and may reflect increased exposure to information and acceptance of donor milk use among neonatal intensive care unit staff and parents. Despite overall improvements in consent rates, race-specific disparities in rates of nonconsent for donor milk persisted after 5 years of this donor milk program. Further research is warranted to clarify the basis for race-based disparities in donor milk nonconsent rates, with the goal of designing interventions to reduce donor milk refusal among minority mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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