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Best Practices to Support Breastfeeding in Neonatal Intensive Care

by Kathleen Marinelli, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Handout: Yes

There are many challenges faced by mothers, families and staff with the hospitalization of a sick or premature infant that affect lactation and breastfeeding. These include mother-infant separation, initiation and maintenance of lactation by milk expression, compromised milk production, barriers to infant-mother-parent bonding, the need for family-centered care, and the many issues related to continuity of care both during the hospitalization and between facilities and caregivers. We will explore current evidence concerning the support of mothers’ and families’ choice to transition from milk expression to breastfeeding of their infants in intensive care. While our knowledge of the importance of human milk has grown immensely with respect to nutrition, acute and chronic disease risk reduction and prevention, neurodevelopment, physiology, and the intestinal microbiome among others, there remains a gap in the translation of this knowledge into the practice of transition of human milk feeding to breastfeeding in many countries, regions and individual intensive care units/wards. It can be done—we will explore the evidence for how!

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Participants will be able to discuss the challenges of breastfeeding an infant in the NICU;

Objective 2: Participants will be able to list at least four steps in the transition from human milk expression and feeding to breastfeeding;

Objective 3: Participants will be able to identify at least three supportive practices of breastfeeding in a NICU environment.

Presentations: 4  |  Hours / CE Credits:  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks