Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

Program or Major

Nutrition: Dietetics

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Gale Carey


Pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) as feeding supplementation has been shown to prevent and lower rates of gastrointestinal infection and increase exclusive human milk consumption (EHM) in critically-ill, low birthweight and premature infants. Policies/ procedures for the use of PDHM in “well” newborns and low birth weight newborns with non-life-threatening illness, level I and II nurseries, respectively, have not been established. The objective of this research is to gather and summarize policies/procedures and experiences from four hospitals in the northeast US that use PDHM in level I/II nurseries. Data was collected from interviews with hospital administrators and each hospital’s PDHM policies/procedures on PDHM procurement, storage and distribution, as well as patient inclusion criteria. Interview and policy/procedure data were analyzed to identify similarities, differences, successes, and barriers to PDHM program implementation and outcomes. Findings revealed policies and procedures of all four hospitals cited five indications for PDHM supplementation: ineffective breastfeeding, preterm birth, hypoglycemia, weight loss greater than 10%, and hyperbilirubinemia. One hospital did not include a step-by-step procedure on distributing PDHM, but the remaining three hospitals cited thirteen similar distribution steps. Three barriers to implementation and maintenance of each PDHM program were funding, “ick” factor, and time limit on supplementation. Two successes reported by all hospitals included increased EHM rates and gratitude for PDHM as a supplement option. Although sample size was limited to four hospitals, the findings were consistent, suggesting that this research can be used to develop a template on PDHM policy/procedures for level I/II nurseries in the US.