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DoMINO trial


Donor Milk for Improved Neurodevelop-mental Outcomes

Key findings:


Donor milk does not improve neurodevelopment above preterm formula, but it reduces the risk of a serious bowel disease called necrotizing enterocolitis.

Donor milk and preterm formula result in similar growth at 5.5 years of age for children born very low birth weight (VLBW).

There is no difference in cost between donor milk and preterm formula to the healthcare system or families.

Preterm infants fed mother's own milk develop unique gut microbiotas.

OptiMoM trial


Optimizing Mothers' Milk for Preterm Infants

Key findings:

Human milk-based fortifier does not improve feeding tolerance above bovine milk-based fortifier.

Human milk-based fortifier does not improve neurodevelopment above bovine milk-based fortifier.

Each mother of preterm infants has a unique milk microbiota and it changes over time.

MaxiMoM trial


Individualized fortification of human milk to improve neurodevelopment of infants born <1250 grams

Key findings:

Stay tuned!

To learn more about INFORM check out our video!


Maximizing milk in a changing food environment

Milk, whether human milk during infancy or cow's milk during childhood and beyond, plays a crucial role in meeting the nutritional requirements of Canadians. In turn, milk facilitates optimal growth, neurodevelopment and disease prevention. For very preterm infants, mother's milk and pasteurized donor human milk, when mother's milk is unavailable, is life-saving. Emerging data suggest cow's milk may play a role in childhood growth and appetite regulation, glucose control, and obesity prevention. However, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) have displaced milk in the diet. Many Canadians are also now opting for plant-based beverages for cultural, religious, and health considerations. We aim to investigate how the nutritional and bioactive components of milk (human or cow's milk) and infant formula can maintain and improve Canadians' health. This Canada Foundation for Innovation grant will enable the purchase of specialized equipment to systematically evaluate promising strategies to facilitate optimal delivery of nutrients to very preterm infants and preserve the inherent biological properties of human milk. In addition, novel biomarkers of milk and SSB intake will be developed and used in studies to assess the role of cow's milk, plant-based beverages and SSB on appetite regulation, weight gain and body composition. In all studies, we will explore the impact of parental feeding practices.

Read the University of Toronto news article.

Current studies
Kids in Slide

The OptiMoM Grows Up Study is a 5.5-year follow-up for families part of the OptiMoM trial.

Recruitment for the OptiMoM Grows Up study has now closed.


We would like to thank the OptiMoM families for their continued support of this research. We are excited to share study findings soon!

OptiMoM Grows Up

Mother Baby Bonding

The COVID Study aimed to see if the COVID-19 virus and antibodies are in breastmilk. 

The research team would like to extend a big thank you to all those involved in the COVID-19 vaccine breastmilk study. We could not do this work without the generosity of the 78 families that took part.  


Recruitment for the study has now closed.


We are currently working on analysis and writing a manuscript for publication. We look forward to sharing results soon! 


Girl Eating Apple

The Growth Eating & Appetite Together (GrEAT) Study will see how nutrition supports young children's growth and development.

Recruitment for the GrEAT Study has now closed.


We would like to thank the 75 families that took part! We look forward to sharing study results soon!

GrEAT Study

Current studies

surprised baby

INFORM is a clinical trial for VLBW infants to look at different fortification strategies.


SickKids Research Institute

Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning

686 Bay Street

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M5G 0A4

Department of Nutritional Sciences

University of Toronto

1 King's College Circle

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M5S 1A8

© 2021 MaxiMoM Research

SickKids logo
Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto logo
Mount Sinai Hospital logo
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