The Ultimate Preemie and Mom Reference Guide

Links to websites that inform, inspire, support, advocate, educate and feed the soul.

There is a tremendous amount of information on the web. Trying to learn more about your preemie baby can be overwhelming, so we created this list so you don’t have to. We tried to include links to sites that we felt would benefit you and your preemie.  

If you want to add to this list, please email us at; after all, sharing is caring, and knowledge is power!


We focused on publications that provide a section within their website dedicated to preterm babies.


A shortlist of resources to support the mind, body and soul as you take care of your newborn preemie.

  • Motherly an online community that inspires and connects.
  • Today’s Parent provides you parenting, baby, pregnancy and family insights through real-life stories and expert advice. 
  • Absolutely Mama designed for the modern mom who wishes to forge her own path, filled with great insights and advice on parenting, lifestyle and fashion.
  • Mother&Baby covers every aspect of being a mom from pregnancy to baby to toddler.
  • Mother Magazine is designed to provide stories, lifestyle and health information for the modern mom.
  • Very Well family is a catch-all site with content ranging from stories to activities to online tools covering all aspects from pregnancy to raising healthy kids of all ages and stages to the latest news.
  • Hand to Hold “You are not alone” This site provides a soft and gentle approach. They offer a one-on-one peer mentoring program, along with blogs, podcasts, social networks and resources for in-hospital programs for NICU families, Bereaved Families and NICU professionals.



Sometimes mothers cannot provide their own milk to their newborns, and the reasons vary from not producing enough milk to physically being unable to breastfeed due to illness. Human milk banks operate to help provide the milk required to help babies grow, especially vulnerable low birth weight infants. If you have breastmilk to spare, please #donate it to your local human milk bank.

Locate your human milk bank within your country. Please note that some milk banks are located within the hospital itself.

Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

For additional information and resources on human milk, please visit PATH organisation, a global non-profit that improves public health.


These initiatives focus on helping communities worldwide by addressing the issues around preterm births, conducting research and providing guidelines that advocate for change. You can support these organisations through donations as well. 


An overview of the research article on ‘Human milk bank and personalized nutrition in the NICU: a narrative review’

Originally published in the European Journal of Pediatrics, November 27, 2020. “This narrative review presents salient data of our current knowledge and concerns regarding milk feeding of preterm infants in the NICU, with special emphasis on personalized donor milk as a result of establishing a Personalised Nutrition Unit (PNU).” Written by Manuel Sánchez Luna, Sylvia Caballero Martin and Carmen Sánchez Gómez-de-Orgaz.

Today approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely and is ‘the leading cause of mortality among children aged under five years, with a majority of deaths due to preterm birth occurring in the neonatal period.

Nutrition is Key

To fight this problem, appropriate nutrition is a critical element in improving preterm babies’ survival and outcomes. Sometimes, instead of the mother’s own milk (MOM), donor milk (DM) from a similar gestational and lactation stage is given. This milk, provided by human milk banks (HMB), is composed of pooled term milk at various lactation stages. In some instances, they are far from having the characteristics of the MOM. In these circumstances, personalised fortification using DM is the ideal approach to feed preterm infants.

Preterm Milk Composition

A contributing factor for growth failure in preterm infants is low protein intake. Studies have shown that the mother’s milk of premature infants has significantly more protein, nitrogen, and amino acids during the first weeks of lactation. This unique combination of nutrients of the preterm milk properties contributes to the premature infants’ rapid growth rates. Also unique to breastmilk are human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are known to be a strong protection for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). It is essential to state that the breastmilk’s pasteurization does not affect HMO content and that no differences were found between unpasteurized and pasteurized human milk for any or severe NEC.

Personalised Fortification

Currently, 20% of donated breastmilk comes from mothers of preterm infants. In Brazil, a leader of human milk banks, 44% of their donors are mothers of preterm infants, and if the mother’s milk nutritional requirements are not met, then donor milk is often given to babies. In both cases, MOM or DM, personalised fortification is performed inside NICUs. A significant reduction in NEC and late-onset sepsis was correlated with the usage of personalized fortification. Due to the personalized fortification, a shorter use of central venous catheters for parenteral nutrition, which is the administering of nutrition intravenously and better growth during hospitalization was also associated with this.


Mother’s own milk is the healthiest and most convenient way of providing the essential nutrients to newborns. If the mother cannot provide her breastmilk, donor milk is a good alternative. On the other side, and as the milk composition varies with gestational age and stage of lactation, personalised feeding using donor milk from mothers with preterm infants, combined with personalised targeted fortification, is the optimal approach.

We would like to thank Dr. Manuel Sánchez Luna, Professor Neonatology Division Hospital Materno Infantil Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, España for his continued research on personalized donor milk working towards the establishment of in the development of a personalized nutrition unit within hospitals in Spain. You can follow Dr. Luna on Twitter @manutoronto13

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