Resources & Evidence Contact us

Prolacta Clinical Advisory Board members present webinar on improved growth metrics for preterm infants fed an exclusive human milk diet

Stacia Pegram, MA, RDN, LD, and Patti Perks, MS, RDN, CNSC, will present “Improved Growth Metrics for Preterm Infants Supported With a Human Milk Diet” on Dec. 1

DUARTE, Calif., Dec. 1, 2022 – Prolacta Bioscience®, the world’s leading hospital provider of 100% human milk-based nutritional products for critically ill, premature infants, announced today that two members of the Prolacta Clinical Advisory Board (PCAB) will present a webinar for clinicians who care for preterm infants titled “Improved Growth Metrics for Preterm Infants Supported With a Human Milk Diet” on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m. PT.

The webinar will:

  • Identify why growth matters and what barriers exist to accurate assessment/reporting
  • Explain the factors that impact growth in premature infants
  • Help clinicians understand the impact of an Exclusive Human Milk Diet (EHMD) on growth metrics and neurodevelopmental outcomes

“This webinar will provide clinicians with high-quality education on this vulnerable patient population’s unique nutritional needs, especially around supporting growth — one of the top concerns for these fragile patients,” said Melinda Elliott, chief medical officer of Prolacta and a practicing neonatologist. “With the ever-growing body of scientific research showing the short- and long-term benefits of an EHMD, Prolacta is committed to providing clinicians with the knowledge and tools to improve patient outcomes.”

Co-presenter Patti Perks, MS, RDN, CNSC, has more than 20 years of experience working in neonatal nutrition in Virginia. She specializes in educating health care professionals by advising on the macro- and micronutrient needs of infants receiving specialized nutrition support.

“While it’s important to accurately assess infant growth in the NICU, current tracking approaches remain non-standard, and many factors affect growth goals,” Perks said. “Feeding an EHMD with human milk-based fortifiers allows early initiation and advancement of feeds and reduces the risk of some infections such as necrotizing enterocolitis1,2 and late-onset sepsis in premature infants.1,3,4 We look forward to delving deeper into the implications of an EHMD on growth during the webinar.”

Co-presenter Stacia Pegram, MA, RDN, LD, has been a neonatal dietitian in Columbia, South Carolina, for more than 20 years. She has a wide range of experience and expertise in leading neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nutrition initiatives, including the development and management of feeding guidelines, quality improvement programs and education of NICU staff.

“We’ll discuss the impact of an EHMD on growth metrics and neurodevelopmental outcomes,” Pegram said. “We’ll also emphasize that optimal nutrition in the NICU consists of human milk’s protective elements plus an accurate assessment of adequate growth.”

Perks and Pegram are members of the Prolacta Clinical Advisory Board (PCAB), a group of neonatologists, neonatal nursing leaders, and neonatal dietitians with broadly recognized clinical expertise. The PCAB’s mission is to share clinical expertise and emerging research to affect clinical practice, education, and outcomes in the NICU population. Prolacta’s newly expanded PCAB has replaced its previous Nutrition Advisory Committee (NAC) and Nursing Practice Advisory Council (NPAC).

For those interested in attending the webinar, please visit

About Human Milk-Based Nutritional Products

The major difference between cow milk-based and human milk-based nutritional products is the composition — notably, the bioactive components that are unique to human milk. These include immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, milk fat globule membrane, and the wide spectrum of prebiotics known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are not easily manufactured and thus are greatly decreased or missing from cow milk-based nutritional products.5 Bioactivity is thought to support infants’ immunity, development, growth, and long-term health.6

Prolacta’s 100% human milk-based nutritional products have the highest bioactivity in the human milk industry.7 Prolacta’s nutritional products are vat pasteurized using profiles defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure pathogen inactivation and the highest level of safety while retaining as much of the natural bioactivity of the milk as possible.8 Prolacta's vat pasteurized products retain higher bioactivity than products processed using other methods, including retort sterilization and UHT processing.7,9,10

About Prolacta Bioscience

Prolacta Bioscience® Inc. is a privately held, global life sciences company dedicated to Advancing the Science of Human Milk® to improve the health of critically ill, premature infants. Prolacta’s 100% human milk-based nutritional products have been evaluated in more than 20 clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals. More than 80,000 premature infants have benefited from Prolacta’s nutritional products worldwide to date.11 Established in 1999, Prolacta is the world’s leading provider of human milk-based nutritional products for hospital use and is also exploring the therapeutic potential of human milk across a wide spectrum of diseases. Prolacta maintains the industry’s strictest quality and safety standards for screening, testing, and processing donor human milk. Operating the world’s first pharmaceutical-grade human milk processing facilities, Prolacta uses vat pasteurization and a patented, FDA-reviewed manufacturing process to ensure pathogen inactivation while protecting the nutritional composition and bioactivity of its human milk-based products. Prolacta is a global company with headquarters in Duarte, California, and can be found online on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

# # #

Media Contact:
Loren Kosmont


  1. Hair AB, Peluso AM, Hawthorne KM, et al. Beyond necrotizing enterocolitis prevention: improving outcomes with an exclusive human milk-based diet [published correction appears in Breastfeed Med. 2017;12(10):663] Breastfeed Med. 2016;11(2):70-74. Doi:10.1089/bfm.2015.0134
  2. Abrams SA, Schanler RJ, Lee ML, Rechtman DJ. Greater mortality and morbidity in extremely preterm infants fed a diet containing cow milk protein products. Breastfeed Med. 2014;9(6):281-285. doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.0024
  3. Delaney Manthe E, Perks PH, Swanson JR. Team-based implementation of an exclusive human milk diet. Adv Neonatal Care. 2019;19(6):460-467. doi:10.1097/ANC.000000000000676
  4. O'Connor DL, Kiss A, Tomlinson C, et al. Nutrient enrichment of human milk with human and bovine milk-based fortifiers for infants born weighing <1250 g: a randomized clinical trial [published corrections appear in Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;110(2):529 and Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;111(5):1112] Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;108(1):108-116. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy067
  5. Ballard O, Morrow AL. Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):49-74. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2012.10.002. PMID: 23178060; PMCID: PMC3586783.
  6. Gila-Diaz A, Arribas SM, Algara A, Martín-Cabrejas MA, López de Pablo ÁL, Sáenz de Pipaón M, Ramiro-Cortijo D. A review of bioactive factors in human breastmilk: a focus on prematurity. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1307. doi:10.3390/nu11061307
  7. Liang N, Koh J, Kim BJ, Ozturk G, Barile D, Dallas DC. Structural and functional changes of bioactive proteins in donor human milk treated by vat-pasteurization, retort sterilization, ultra-high-temperature sterilization, freeze-thawing and homogenization. Front. Nutr. 2022;9.
  8. Data on file.
  9. Meredith-Dennis L, Xu G, Goonatilleke E, Lebrilla CB, Underwood MA, Smilowitz JT. Composition and variation of macronutrients, immune proteins, and human milk oligosaccharides in human milk from nonprofit and commercial milk banks. J Hum Lact. 2018;34(1):120-129. doi:10.1177/0890334417710635
  10. Lima HK, Wagner-Gillespie M, Perrin MT, Fogleman AD. Bacteria and bioactivity in Holder pasteurized and shelf-stable human milk products. Curr Dev Nutr. 2017;1(8):e001438. doi:10.3945/cdn.117.001438
  11. Data on file; Estimated number of premature infants fed Prolacta’s products from January 2007 to December 2021; data on file.