Relationship of feeding human milk by breast versus bottle with infant growth

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kelsey Wilson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Cheryl Lovelady

Abstract: Research suggests that infants fed human milk from a bottle versus the breast may have higher weight gains in the first six to 12 months of life. The purpose of this study was to determine if infants fed human milk directly from the breast differed in growth and adiposity measurements compared to those fed human milk from the bottle. Infant's weight, length, and tricep and subscapular skinfold thickness were measured at two, four, and six months of age. Mothers reported infant birth weight and length and completed monthly questionnaires on infant feeding practices (e.g., number of human milk feedings by bottle or breast per day, age of introduction to complementary foods, and infant bottle-emptying behavior). Infants were placed into two groups based on their reported mode of feeding at three months: Nursing Group (NG, n=15), infants fed predominantly at the breast with less than 25% of the daily feeds from a bottle and Bottle Group (BG, n=10), infants fed human milk from the bottle 25% or more of the daily feeds. Change in BMI z-scores from two to four months were significantly different between groups (NG=-0.16 ± 0.62 vs. BG=0.56 ± 0.99, p=0.03). Change in BMI z-scores from four to six months were no longer significantly different between groups (NG=0.32 ± 0.62 vs. BG=0.60 ± 0.65, p=0.3). Changes in skinfold thickness measures and z-scores were not statistically different between groups at any age. Weight gain velocity was compared to WHO weight velocity standards. Only three infants in each group exceeded the 75th percentile for weight gain velocity from two to four months, and two in each group from four to six months. The majority of parents reported those infants fed human milk from the bottle finished the bottle “most of the time” or “always.” None of the infants were introduced to complementary foods before four months. The results of this study suggest that bottle-feeding human milk may be related to differences in weight gain during two to four months. However, follow up for a longer time period with a larger sample size is necessary to fully investigate the relationship of bottle-feeding with infant growth.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Bottle feeding, Breastfeeding, Childhood obesity, Human milk, Infant growth, Rapid infant weight gain
Infants $x Nutrition
Bottle feeding

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