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Vitamin D and the nursing mother

vitamin-d

The not-often-discussed issue of Vitamin D deficiency in nursing mothers is discussed by an expert, and how it can affect the infants in their care. An “adequate” intake for nursing mothers is not the 400 IU/d the IOM recommends, but is instead in the range of 5,000-6,000 IU/d, taken daily. If they get that much, they will meet not only their own needs, but their infant’s as well.

Reaf rest of article-Science Daily


The newest, hottest workout recovery beverage: Human breast milk

post workout

 

On Wednesday, the Cut introduced us to men who drink breast milk for health reasons, including as a workout recovery beverage.

Read rest of article-The Washington Post


Some Ways To Help Mothers with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Link used for questions to ask mothers

Ask every mother that fills out the Edinburgh score that does not pass these questions.  They seem to open pretty well to these.  They are great conversation starters and ways to look best how to help these mothers.

 http://postpartumstress.com/admin/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Physicians_PPSC.pdf

 

advice

http://postpartumstress.com/get-help/how-can-i-help-myself/things-you-can-do-to-feel-better/

 

Clinical Pathways of how and when to treat

http://mededppd.org/care_pathways.asp

 

Free booklets to order to have delivered to your facility( these are awesome)

http://ask.hrsa.gov/results_materials.cfm?type=kword&searchterm=862

 you can order small or large quantities, to order large call them instead of web form

 Call the HRSA Information Center at 888-ASK-HRSA to place a bulk order. Items will be sent via U.S. mail and will arrive within 2–3 weeks

 

Resources for Mothers with Perinatal Mood Disorders

 

 

  • Alliance Behavioral Healthcare
    919-651-8400
    M-F until 8pm, then answering service
    Provides screening/ funding for some
    Works with insured/noninsured

 

  • UNCCenterfor Women’s Mood Disorders
    919-966-5217
    www.womensmooddisorders.org

 

Other providers which also will take Medicaid in our areas

  • WakeCountyCarolinaCommunity Health
    919-875-3211
  • Cottage Healthcare
    919-872-1441
  • Easter Seals

             919-865-8710

Providers

  • David Miller, MD, PhD
    Dr. Miller is a psychiatrist in private practice with specific interest in Postpartum Mood Disorders. He also has more than 25 years experience as an OB/GYN physician.
    919.593.6844
    523 East Wait Avenue, Wake Forest, NC 27587
    http://www.davidemillermd.com/
    does not bill insurance but provides patients materials to seek reimbursement. No Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Betty-Shannon Prevatt, MA, LPA
    Betty-Shannon Prevatt is a clinical psychologist experienced in treating women with postpartum mood disorders.
    919.612.3348
    2601 Lake Drive Suite 103, Raleigh, NC 27607
    http://www.bsprevatt.com/
    $110 for 50 min session.  Does help with filing out of network claim. 
  • Margot A. Holloman, PhD
    Dr. Holloman is a clinical psychologist with an extensive background in the treatment of depression.
    919.816.0607 or 919.363.4703
    7404-A Chapel Hill Road, Raleigh, NC 27607
    http://www.drmargotholloman.com/
    $120-150 per session. Takes BCBS anyone else would be considered out of network.
  • William Meyer, MSW
    Bill Meyer is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and OB/GYN at Duke University Medical Center.  He leads the Duke Postpartum Support Program, and has a private practice in his home.
    919.681.6840
    Works a couple days a week to see patients as a courtesy or phone advice.  Does not take insurance or reimbursement.  Prefers mother to call directly.
  • Dori Pelz-Sherman, PhD
    Dr. Pelz-Sherman is a doctoral level clinical psychologist whose degree includes a concentration in Parent Infant Mental Health.  Specializes in Perinatal Mood Disorders.
    919-434-1661
    http://drpelz-sherman.com/
    Flexible hours, Gives paperwork to send to insurance companies for reimbursement. No Medicaid.

     

  • Andrea Eaves, LCSW
    353 West 2nd St
    Clayton, NC 27520
    919-271-0135
    Flexible hours, Files insurances: Medicaid, Medcost, BCBS, Coventry Well Path, Value Options. 
    Specialize in: Post partum moms, Mood disorders, Parental training, Stress, Anxiety, Trauma, Christian counseling
  • Dr David Derma
    Dunn Psychological Associates
    102 Tilghman Dr.
    Dunn, NC 28334
    910-892-5839
    Takes BCBS, NC Health choice, Tricare, Medcost, Medicaid and Medicare.  Mother may call for appt but if referral by healthcare provider, fax referral and copy of notes from appt.

 Social Services to report neglect or to provide resources for mom/child
919-212-7000 or 919-212-9529
Ask for Intake Specialist

Support Groups

  • Moms Supporting Moms
    Meets every Thursday atRexHospital

             919-454-6946
             www.MomsSupportingMoms.net

 

 

Great Website Links for support and information

www.postpartumprogress.com

 

www.postpartumstress.com

 

www.mededppd.org

 

http://www.postpartumdads.org/

 

http://www.postpartum.net/

 

http://www.ppdsupportpage.com/

 

 

 

 

 


National Prevention Strategy

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and the National Prevention Council invite you to join them for a news conference (via live webcast) in Washington, D.C., to release the National Prevention Strategy on Thursday, June 16, at 11:00 a.m. ET.

To view a live webcast of the event, go to: www.hhs.gov/live

This first ever National Prevention Strategy, called for under the Affordable Care Act, was created to help move the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. By focusing on prevention, the National Prevention Strategy will help Americans stay healthy and fit and improve our nation’s prosperity.

The National Prevention Strategy’s goal is to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The Strategy’s four Strategic Directions and seven Priorities include evidence-based recommendations fundamental to improving the nation’s health.

The National Prevention Council, comprised of 17 Federal agencies and chaired by the Surgeon General, developed the National Prevention Strategy with input from stakeholders, the public, and the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. To succeed, implementation of the Strategy must include public and private partners working together at the national, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels.

More information on the National Prevention Strategy and the National Prevention Council can be found at:
http://www.healthcare.gov/center/councils/nphpphc/strategy/index.htm


This service is provided by the CDC Office of Women’s Health. Email comments or suggestions to owh@cdc.gov. For more information about women’s health, visit www.cdc.gov/women.


The First Human Milk Bank in Costa Rica

The first human milk bank is now a reality for Costa Ricans and it is located in the Hospital Carlos Luis Valverde Vega of San Ramón, Alajuela. It was inaugurated on the 6 of this month. This initiative aims to support the health of children whose mothers cannot breastfeed them, and thus reduce infant mortality. In addition, from there it is expected they will evaluate the creation of a network of such centers. In this bank, a professional team caters to mothers who are able and willing to donate their milk to be distributed later among children in need. In this bank, milk is analyzed and pasteurized, and this is offered to hospitalized children with special needs. The project, in which ¢ 25 million has already been invested, is made possible by cooperation between the Ministries of Health of Costa Rica and Brazil since 2010.  More Info


WakeMed Pursuing Baby Friendly Hospital Designation

Source: WakeMed Voices

WakeMed Discontinuing Pacifier Availability and Formula Sample Distribution on Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, Sunday, WakeMed Women’s Pavilion & Birthplaces – Raleigh and Cary are taking major steps to become a Baby Friendly hospital as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  WakeMed is the first hospital in the region to pursue this designation, and conform to the standards outlined in the Ten Steps to Breastfeeding.

One of the first steps in the journey to encourage breastfeeding is to discontinue the distribution of the formula samples and diaper bags provided for free by the formula companies. While WakeMed will provide formula to infants for feeding when it is requested by the parent or guardian, the hospital will no longer distribute formula samples. WakeMed will also no longer have pacifiers available on demand in the Women’s Pavilion & Birthplace. These changes will go in to effect on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8.

By reviewing where the hospital stands and adapting these ten steps, WakeMed is confirming its belief that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for infants. Currently, the Women’s Pavilion & Birthplace – Cary has a 98 percent breastfeeding rate, and the Women’s Pavilion & Birthplace – Raleigh has a 72 percent breastfeeding rate, both of which are well above the national average. With the ten step process, the hospital can continue to improve these rates, and give mothers the support and confidence they need to commit to breastfeeding,

“The staffs at both WakeMed Raleigh Campus and Cary Hospital are working closely with the lactation consultants so they can offer new mothers the information and support they need. Our hope is that mothers le

ave WakeMed with the confidence and knowledge they need to continue breastfeeding their babies,” commented Elizabeth Rice, director, Women’s Pavilion & Birthplace.  “Of course, we will continue to provide support and education equally to those who chose to bottle feed their newborns.”

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming-in — allow mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breast-feeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Click here if you would like additional information on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

 

Related Articles to read on this subject

http://www.wakemed.org/body.cfm?id=247&action=detail&ref=232

http://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/TER05xxA.mp3/view

http://www.facebook.com/WakeMed

http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/goaskmom/blogpost/9575844/

http://www.wakeliving.com/News.aspx?li=5230

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/05/1176144/wakemed-will-join-effort-to-encourage.html


Evidence-based Care Managment of the Late Preterm Infant

Authors and Disclosures

Ana Souto, MS, PNP, Miriam Pudel, MS, PNP, & Donna Hallas, PhD, PNP-BC, CPNP

Ana Souto, Student, Master Student Independent Study Project, New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY.
Miriam Pudel, Student, Master Student Independent Study Project, New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY.
Donna Hallas, Clinical Associate Professor and Coordinator, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program, New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY.

Correspondence
Donna Hallas, PhD, PNP-BC, CPNP, 10th Floor, 726 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

From Journal of Pediatric Health Care

Evidence-based Care Management of the Late Preterm Infant

Ana Souto, MS, PNP; Miriam Pudel, MS, PNP; Donna Hallas, PhD, PNP-BC, CPNP

Posted: 12/21/2010; J Pediatr Health Care. 2011;25(11):44-49. © 2011 Mosby, Inc.

Case Presentation

A 2-week-old male infant born at 35 weeks’ gestational age (GA) to a 36-year-old multi-gravida woman presents to the pediatric office for the first primary care office visit after discharge from the hospital. The GA of 35 weeks was confirmed by the Dubowitz assessment performed 4 hours after birth. A review of the hospital discharge record revealed a positive maternal history for hepatitis B antigen (HBsAg+); non-reactive rapid plasma reagin; and an emergency Caesarean section after 6 hours of labor because of fetal heart rate decelerations. Apgar scores were 7 and 8 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. The infant measurements at birth were as follows: weight, 1.814 kg (4 lb, 8 oz); length, 45.72 cm (18 in); and head circumference, 31 cm. After an initial assessment in the newborn nursery, the infant was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for transient tachypnea. The mother began breastfeeding on the second postpartum day and continued breastfeeding every 3 hours during the infant’s hospital stay. The record also revealed that the infant’s bilirubin level was 14.8 mg/dL during the first week of life. The infant was discharged home at 4 days of age with instructions to continue breastfeeding every 3 hours, and a pediatric office appointment was scheduled.

History of Present Illness

Since discharge from the hospital, the mother breastfed the infant every 2 to 3 hours. The infant’s suck had improved since he was discharged. The infant has stools two to three times daily and has several wet diapers each day. He is alert and active for a few hours in the daytime and eats and sleeps the remainder of the day and night. The mother expressed concern about the amount of breast milk she was producing.

Newborn and Medical History

The infant received hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth. The transient tachypnea resolved spontaneously, and after day 4 of life, the infant was discharged from the newborn nursery with a bilirubin level of 12 mg/dL. The newborn screening report was received in the pediatric office, and results were negative.

Pertinent Maternal and Family History

The mother denied a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Prenatal care began during the first trimester, and no complications occurred. There was a maternal and family history of asthma. The remainder of the maternal and family history was noncontributory.

Developmental History

During periods when he is awake, the infant lifts his chin for a few seconds when lying on his tummy and firmly grasps small objects placed in his hand. He explores his surroundings with his eyes, turns in the direction of some sounds, and cries when left alone but responds positively when held and comforted. The infant moves all his extremities well.

Review of Systems

A review of systems is non-contributory except for feeding concerns as documented in the History of Present Illness. The infant is not taking any medications.

Physical Examination

At the initial examination the infant weighed 2.3 kg (5 lb), with a height of 48 cm (18.9 in) and a head circumference of 32 cm. The infant is alert, active, and in no acute distress. A complete physical examination revealed a healthy late preterm infant.

Case Study Evidence-based PICO Questions

  1. Is the late preterm infant, that is, a newborn born between 34 weeks 0 days and 36 weeks 6 days GA, at a greater risk of complications during the newborn period than a full-term infant? [PICO prognosis question; seeTablefor PICO acronym]
  2. In the late preterm infant, what is the effect of breastfeeding on overall growth compared with formula feeding? [PICO prognosis question]
  3. For late preterm infants and all infants born to HBsAg+ mothers, what are current evidence-based practice guidelines? [PICO therapy question]
  4. Should the late preterm infant receive respiratory syncytial virus prophylaxis as part of routine care to prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection? [PICO therapy question]

Case Study Answers

1. Is the late preterm infant, that is, a newborn born between 34 weeks 0 days and 36 weeks 6 days GA, at a greater risk of complications during the newborn period than a full-term infant?

The late preterm is a neonate who is born between 34 weeks 0 days and 36 weeks 6 days of gestation. Previously, infants born during this time frame were called “near term” or “slightly premature,” which was a misnomer because the infants have special care needs (Coffman, 2009). Late preterm infants are the fastest growing group of preterm infants and account for 75% of all preterm births (Verklan, 2009). Despite the increased weight and more mature appearance of late preterm infants, they are described as a vulnerable population who are at greater risk for complications when compared with full-term infants (Verklan, 2009). The mortality rate for late preterm infants is higher than that of full-term infants (Pulver, Guest-Warnick, Stoddard, Byington, & Young, 2009). Pulver et al. (2009) examined the linked birth and death certificates for all infants born in Utah between 1999 and 2005. These researchers found that small for gestational age late preterm infants were about 44 times more likely than appropriate for gestational age infants to die in the first month of life, and 22 times more likely to die in the first year of life. The authors stressed the significance of provider attention to weight in relation to GA, factors that should be included when formulating care management plans for the late preterm infants. Early recognition of health problems in these infants is critical if we are to reduce the high incidence of death in this population.

Some of the most common complications for late preterm infants are cold stress, respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, sepsis, cognitive delays, hyperbilirubinemia, and feeding difficulties.

Cold Stress

Late preterm infants are more susceptible than full-term infants to cold stress because of underdeveloped glycogen stores, an immature epidermal barrier, a higher surface to body mass ratio, and decreased levels of subcutaneous and brown fat. They have a high metabolic rate but a decreased ability to generate heat (Hubbard, Stellwagen, & Wolf, 2007). Decreased muscle tone and activity increases the body surface area exposed to the environment (Verklan, 2009). The immature epidermal barrier results in an increased transepidermal water loss. The late preterm infant’s body temperature should be maintained between 36.5 °C to 37.5 °C (Darcy, 2009). In this case presentation, the late preterm infant was immediately placed in an infant warmer; his temperature gradually rose to 37 °C, and thus he did not experience cold stress.

Respiratory Distress

The late preterm infant is at high risk for respiratory distress within the first few hours of birth. Many late preterm infants are delivered by Caesarean section, which increases the risk for transient tachypnea of the newborn, respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, and hypoxic respiratory failure (Verklan, 2009). In this case study, as anticipated, the late preterm infant experienced transient tachypnea and was transferred to the NICU. Spontaneous resolution of transient tachypnea occurred, and the NICU provided an environment in which the infant was closely monitored for other known respiratory complications.

Hypoglycemia

The late preterm infant is at high risk for hypoglycemia because of decreased glycogen and fat stores, decreased ability to produce glucose, and immature glucose-regulated insulin secretion. Full-term infants have a higher metabolic rate than do late preterm infants. The lower metabolic rate of late preterm infants makes them more susceptible to hypoglycemia after birth (Verklan, 2009). Best practice guidelines recommend monitoring blood glucose levels in the late preterm infant each hour for the first 3 hours after birth, at which time the glucose level is expected to stabilize.

Sepsis

The late preterm infant is at greater risk for infection than the full-term newborn because maternal antibodies are not fully transferred prior to the 37th week of pregnancy (Verklan, 2009). Maternal infections commonly induce preterm labor and must be considered as a possible cause for the preterm labor. Additionally, a positive maternal group B streptococcal status places the infant at risk for neonatal sepsis (Hubbard et al., 2007). Additional information on sepsis in late preterm infants is provided at the following website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19953725?dopt=AbstractPlus.

Cognitive Delays

Compared with full-term infants, late preterm infants are at increased risk for major neurodevelopmental complications such as severe intraventricular hemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia. Much of the brain growth and development is accomplished during the last few weeks of intrauterine life. The 34-week-old late preterm infant’s cortical volume of the brain is 50% that of the full-term infant. Moreover, early research shows that late preterm infants have a higher incidence of diagnosis with developmental delay in the first 3 years of life compared with full-term infants (Verklan, 2009). These data support routine developmental assessments at each primary health care visit to monitor achievement of age-adjusted milestones. Screening tools such as the Denver Developmental Screening Tool II and referrals for an early intervention program are recommended. Researchers compared pre-kindergarten and kindergarten outcomes for healthy late preterm infants to healthy term infants and found that late preterm infants displayed a greater risk for developmental delays and school problems throughout the first 5 years of life (Morse, Zheng, Tang, & Roth, 2009).

Feeding Difficulties and Hyperbilirubinemia

Feeding difficulties and hyperbilirubinemia are probably the most common problems for late preterm infants and are discussed later in this article.

2. In the late preterm infant, what is the effect of breastfeeding on overall growth compared with formula feeding?

Late preterm infants have a weak suck that may diminish breast milk volume per suck (Walker, 2008). Thus, the mother of a late preterm infant requires special attention during the immediate postnatal period and at each pediatric well-child visit to successfully breastfeed her infant. Members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Protocol Committee (Boies, Chantry, Howard, & Vaucher, 2004) developed a guideline for breastfeeding the near-term (late preterm) infant, whom they defined as infants born between 35 to 37 weeks’ gestation. This guideline was intended for implementation on postpartum units by nursery nurses and by pediatric nurses, pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs), and pediatricians in outpatient settings. The guideline offers strategies to anticipate, identify, and manage frequently experienced breastfeeding problems in inpatient settings and at home.

During the initial office visit, the health care provider must conduct a thorough review of the inpatient maternal and infant records (Boies et al., 2004). The PNP should question the mother about the infant’s stool and urine output, color of stools, and the infant’s awake and sleep cycle and make appropriate recommendations. Physical examination must include accurate assessments of weight without clothing and calculation of change in weight from birth and discharge from the hospital to assess for hydration and effectiveness of breastfeeding. The infant should make consistent gains along the growth curve. The guideline recommends that the first office visit be scheduled 2 to 3 days after hospital discharge.

PNPs should be skilled in assessing the breastfeeding abilities of breastfeeding mothers of late preterm infants and in performing breast assessments during the visit. It is important for the PNP to observe the baby breastfeeding in the office to assess the latch, suck, and swallowing abilities of the infant. If the infant has poor weight gain, the PNP should assess whether the problem is insufficient breast milk production, inability of the infant to obtain enough milk, or a combination of these problems. The infant who is getting enough breast milk should (a) have six to eight voids each day and at least one yellow seedy stool daily by day 4, (b) have lost no more than 8% of birth weight, and (c) be satisfied after 20 to 30 minutes of nursing. For the late preterm infant in this case study who breastfed for longer than this recommended time frame, we recommended placing him at the breast for 30 minutes, keeping him awake by stroking his feet, and supplementing between feedings (preferably with expressed breast milk); these suggestions were consistent with recommendations in this guideline. The mother was referred to a lactation specialist for additional support.

For late preterm infants with latch difficulties, the PNP should assess the infant’s mouth for anatomic abnormalities and perform a digital suck examination. If the infant has ankyloglossia, a referral to a pediatric dentist or an ear, nose, and throat specialist is recommended for evaluation and a possible frenotomy, which can be performed in the office (Hallas, Fernandez, Lim, & Carobene, 2010). The infant in this case study had a normal oral examination and was able to latch onto the nipple without difficulty. The infant sucked adequately, and the mother was given further instruction on feeding positions.

During the initial office visit, assessment for jaundice is essential. Cutaneous bilirubin screening and/or a serum bilirubin determination may be indicated based on clinical findings. Research on the ability of nurses who care for newborns to determine the infants’ progression to jaundice through a cephalocaudal assessment compared with laboratory evaluation revealed that the nursing assessment strategy often failed to identify jaundiced infants; this finding was especially true for late preterm infants (Keren, Tremont, Luan, & Cnaan, 2009). The jaundiced late preterm infant requires special consideration for the management of hyperbilirubinemia. The differential diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia should be considered. If the outcome of the differential diagnosis is lack of milk, then primary treatment of hyperbilirubinemia is to increase the amount of milk fed to the infant, ideally through improved breastfeeding techniques or via expressed breast milk. Institution of phototherapy for breastfeeding jaundice, either in the home or in the hospital, may actually interfere with the primary treatment of getting increased quantities of milk to the baby (Meier, Furman, & Degenhardt, 2007). Evidence-based care management for the late preterm infant includes weekly weight checks until 40 weeks after conceptual age or until it is demonstrated that the infant is thriving with no supplements (Walker, 2008). This infant’s clinical presentation did not warrant any additional bilirubin testing. The infant was scheduled to return to the office 3 days after discharge for a weight check, consistent with the evidence-based guideline.

3. For late preterm infants and all infants born to HBsAg+ mothers, what are current evidence-based practice guidelines?

The guideline of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the prevention of prenatal transmission of Hepatitis B, “Prenatal Care Provider Policies and Procedures to Prevent Perinatal Hepatitis B Virus Transmission,” directs hospitals to implement policies and procedures to ensure identification and initiation of postexposure immunization of all infants born to HBsAg+ mothers. The date and time of birth as well as the date and time of administration of the hepatitis B vaccine and of the HBIG for all infants born to HBsAg+ mothers must be documented. The hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG must be administered in separate syringes at separate sites within the first 12 hours of life. If the same extremity must be used, then the injections are administered at least 1 inch apart. The vaccine information sheets and an immunization record must be provided to the mother at discharge (www.cdc.gov/immunization). In states with immunization registries, the administration of the hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG must be reported to the registry. In the pediatric office setting, nurses, PNPs, and pediatricians should provide educational materials to the mother about hepatitis B and review previous explanations on transmission, medical evaluation, and care of the infant, including the necessary administration of the hepatitis B vaccine in the first 6 months of life per the CDC schedule (www.cdc.gov/immunization; American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP], 2010). In addition, the potential risk of chronic hepatitis B developing in the infant should be discussed with the parents. The infant should receive the second dose of the monovalent hepatitis B vaccine at 1 month of age and the third dose at 6 months of age (no earlier than 24 weeks of age) (CDC, n.d.). If the second dose is not administered at the 1-month- old visit, then the second dose must be administered at the 2-month-old visit. For infants born to mothers who are HBsAg+, the management plan for the infant includes testing for HBsAg and antibody (HBsAB) 1 to 2 months after completion of the third dose of hepatitis B. If the result of the follow-up testing is negative for the antibody, then a fourth dose of hepatitis B vaccine must be administered. Infants who remain HBsAg+ should be referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist because the infant is at high risk for the development of chronic hepatitis B and liver cancer later in life. HBsAg+ test results in infants should be reported to the department of health and to the CDC via the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

4. Should the late preterm infant receive respiratory syncytial viral prophylaxis as part of routine care to prevent RSV infection?

All late preterm infants are considered to be at risk for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections (Coffman, 2009). In 2009, the recommendations from the AAP Infectious Disease Committee (AAP, 2009) revised indications for the use of palivizumab (Synagis) for the prevention of RSV infections in preterm and late preterm infants. These revisions were controversial because many pediatric experts and organizations (i.e., the AAP) argued that the recommendations were not based on the best available evidence (level I evidence, i.e., systematic reviews or randomized controlled trials) but instead were based on expert opinion. Thus there was strong opposition to change from the previously published recommendations for RSV prophylaxis (AAP, 2006). However, the late preterm infant presented in this case study was 35 weeks by gestational age and did not meet the criteria for RSV prophylaxis in either the 2006 or the 2009 guidelines (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2006, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009).

Follow-up Care

Anticipatory guidance for parents of late preterm infants should include recommending an infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation course, educating about sudden infant death syndrome prevention protocol (Back to Sleep), and advising the parents to avoid public places and limit visitors for the first few weeks after being discharged from the hospital. Consistent follow-up medical care, weekly weight checks, and up-to-date immunizations can help late preterm infants avoid complications.

[ CLOSE WINDOW ]

References

  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010). Policy statement: Recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedules—United States, 2010. Pediatrics, 125, 195–196, Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/125/1/195
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2006). The red book: 2006 report of the Committee of Infectious Diseases (7th ed.). Elk Grove Village, IL: Author.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009). The red book: 2009 report of the Committee of Infectious Diseases (7th ed.). Elk Grove Village, IL: Author.
  • Boies, E., Chantry, C. J., Howard, C. R., & Vaucher, Y. (2004). Protocol #10: Breastfeeding the near-term infant (35–37 weeks gestation). The Academy of Breastfeeding Protocol Committee. Retrieved from: www.bfmed.org/Resources/Download.aspx?Filename=Protocol_10.pdf
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Prenatal care provider policies and procedures to prevent perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/PerinatalXmtn.htm
  • Coffman, S. (2009). Late preterm infants and risk for RSV. Maternal Child Nursing, 14(6), 378–384.
  • Darcy, A. E. (2009). Complications of the late preterm infant. Journal Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 23(1), 78–86.
  • Hallas, D., Fernandez, J., Lim, L., & Carobene, M. (2010). Nursing strategies to reduce the incidence of early childhood caries in culturally diverse populations. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2009.07.010
  • Hubbard, E. T., Stellwagen, L. M., & Wolf, A. (2007). The late preterm infant: A little baby with big needs. Contemporary Pediatrics, 24(11), 51–59.
  • Keren, R., Tremont, K., Luan, X., & Cnaan, A. (2009). Visual assessment of jaundice in term and late preterm infants. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94(5), 317–322, Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307221
  • Meier, P., Furman, L., & Degenhardt, M. (2007). Increased lactation risk for late preterm infants and mothers: Evidence and management strategies to protect breastfeeding. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 52(6), 579–587.
  • Melynk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2005). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Morse, S. B., Zheng, H., Tang, Y., & Roth, J. (2009). Early school-age outcomes of late preterm infants. Pediatrics, 123(4), 622–629.
  • Oxman, A., Sackett, D., Guyatt, G. & Evidence Based Working Group. (1993). Users’ guide to evidence-based medicine. JAMA, 270, 2093–2095.
  • Pulver, L. S., Guest-Warnick, G., Stoddard, G. J., Byington, C. L., & Young, P. C. (2009). Weight for gestational age affects the mortality of late preterm infants. Pediatrics, 23(6), 1072–1077.
  • Walker, M. (2008). Breastfeeding and the late preterm infant. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 37(6), 692–701.
  • Verklan, M. T. (2009). So, he’s a little premature. What’s the big deal? Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 21, 149–161.

Conflicts of interest
None to report.

J Pediatr Health Care. 2011;25(11):44-49. © 2011 Mosby, Inc.

 


Feeding Challenges of the Late Preterm Infant

 

This article was sent out to all Rex nursery employees by their new manager, Michele Clement.  It is comprehensive, yet short enough to get to the point.

Authors and Disclosures

Karen Cleaveland, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC

Karen Cleaveland is a family nurse practitioner at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut, Connecticut’s fi rst Baby Friendly designated hospital. She holds dual certifi cation as a neonatal nurse practitioner from the University of Connecticut. She received her master’s in nursing from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut. She is also employed at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in the Level III NICU.

For further information, please contact: Karen Cleaveland, MSN, APRN, Middlesex Hospital, 28 Crescent Street, Middletown, CT 06457, E-mail: karen_cleaveland@midhosp.org

From Neonatal Network

Feeding Challenges in the Late Preterm Infant

Karen Cleaveland, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC

Posted: 03/04/2010; Neonatal Network. 2010;29(1):37-41. © 2010 Neonatal Network

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

A late preterm infant is defined as one born between 34 and 36 6/7 weeks of completed gestation. The rate of late preterm births has risen 18 percent since the late 1990s. Data are beginning to emerge concerning morbidity rates and the risks these newborns face with regard to feeding difficulties, temperature instability, hypoglycemia, and hyperbilirubinemia. Feeding challenges place these vulnerable infants at risk for prolonged hospital stays and readmission after discharge. To better address the unique needs of late preterm infants, providers should establish individual feeding orders. This article offers research-based suggestions for caring for these infants in the newborn nursery and the postpartum unit as well as parent teaching guidelines.

Introduction

Late preterm infants represent the most rapidly growing segment of preterm births in the U.S., accounting for 72 percent of the 12.7 percent preterm birth rate in 2005.[1] This population of preterm infants is often cared for within the general newborn setting using the feeding guidelines for healthy term infants. The staff of the newborn nursery often regards these infants as being term because they are usually of normal size and have a more mature appearance than preterm infants born after shorter gestations. Compared with term infants, however, late preterm infants are at higher risk for excessive weight loss, feeding intolerance, hyperbilirubinemia, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, respiratory distress, apnea of prematurity, and a weak suck.[2] And, because of the increased risks these infants face, they also have higher morbidity and mortality than term infants.[3] It is therefore necessary to recognize and treat this late preterm infant population with its own feeding and care guidelines instead of using guidelines for term infants. It is also vital to formulate a specific set of discharge planning teaching guidelines for them.

Definition

In 2005, a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) consensus panel recommended the use of the phrase late preterm to describe infants born at 34 0/7 to 36 6/7 completed weeks of gestation.[4] Before the panel’s recommendation, there was no uniform designator for this population, although the descriptors near-term and preterm were among those used. The NICHD panel members agreed that there was a need for uniformity and specificity in designating infants of this gestational period. They believed that adoption of the descriptor late preterm infant would provide the impetus for treating these infants based on their own needs and risks.

Risk Factors Affecting Feeding

Respiratory Distress

According to Wang and colleagues’ comparison of 125 neonates born between 35 and 36 6/7 weeks with 120 neonates born at term (37–41 weeks), the rate of respiratory distress was 28.9 percent in the late preterm group, but only 4.2 percent in the term group.[2] The presence of respiratory distress in the late preterm infant has a significant impact on feeding, often delaying the initiation of oral intake until the infant’s respiratory status has stabilized. For safe and efficient oral feeding, infants must be able to smoothly and effectively synchronize sucking, swallowing, and breathing, with highly accurate timing and coordination. Coordination of these activities is essential to avoiding aspiration and swallowing of air and to the efficient intake of nutrients.[5]

Temperature Regulation/Hypoglycemia

Thermal instability is common in the late preterm infant, with approximately 10 percent requiring active intervention to relieve the hypothermia.[2] The presence of hypothermia increases the infant’s oxygen consumption and work of breathing and can exacerbate signs of respiratory distress. Hypothermia also places the infant at risk for developing hypoglycemia. Late preterm infants’ temperatures should be closely monitored to prevent hypothermia because cold stress can lead to worsened hypoglycemia among these infants.[6] Use of calories to generate heat may result in the infant’s having less energy for feeding.

Hyperbilirubinemia

Another common problem in the newborn population is hyperbilirubinemia. Late preterm infants are 2.4 times more likely than term infants to develop significant hyperbilirubinemia, and one in every four late preterm infants requires phototherapy.[7] Watchko also stresses that the documented higher risk of hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus among late preterm infants reinforces the importance of not treating the late preterm infant as a term infant.[8] Late preterm infants need proper follow-up care within a few days of birth to ensure that adequate feedings have been established, especially with those who are being exclusively breastfed. Although there is a correlation between exclusive breastfeeding and risk for hyperbilirubinemia, it is likely that suboptimal (rather than exclusive) breastfeeding, resulting in dehydration and inadequate nutritional intake, causes the increased risk.[8,9]

Feeding Challenges

Feeding challenges in the late preterm infant have been shown to be related to immature sucking and swallowing reflexes, which lead to improper latch-on for the breastfeeding infant as well as inadequate intake in the bottle-feeding infant.[10] As noted earlier, sucking, swallowing, and breathing must synchronize smoothly and effectively, with highly accurate timing and coordination, for safe and efficient oral feeding.[11] Late preterm infants often have fewer awake-alert periods and less postural stability than their full-term counterparts, which often results in inadequate caloric intake. Decreased feeding combined with low energy stores and high energy demands place these infants at risk for inadequate hydration.[12] Health care providers and mothers may assume that the infant has ingested an adequate volume of milk when he falls asleep at the breast, when in reality the infant has exceeded his energy stores and has shut down without adequate caloric intake. Parents need to be educated regarding their infant’s feeding cues, sleep-wake cycles, and how to promote postural stability. Behaviors such as rooting, mouthing, and finger sucking indicate feeding readiness. Ensuring that the hips are flexed and the head and neck are aligned with the trunk provides appropriate postural stability, improving feeding success in the late preterm infant.[13]

Immature brain development in late preterm infants is often overlooked because they are considered stable compared with extremely low birth weight premature infants. During the final few weeks of gestation, movements become smoother, oral motor skills more coordinated, and states of alertness more predictable.[13] This relates directly to why late preterm infants fail at feeding when they are discharged without the proper instructions being given to their caregivers. It is necessary that the nursing staff and parents, as well as the pediatric providers, receive education in achieving safe and effective oral feedings in late preterm infants. The medical issues described earlier also make late preterm infants more susceptible to having a decreased state of arousal as well as poor endurance, resulting in early fatigue during feeding.

Case Presentation

A newborn admitted to our special care nursery (SCN) after being born to teen parents at 36 weeks gestational age exemplifies the complexities of the late preterm infant. Baby C was born to an 18-year-old, gravida 1, para 0 mother, who presented with preterm labor, which progressed quickly to delivery. Maternal laboratory tests included: Blood type: A+, rubella: immune, Group B Streptococcus (GBS): negative, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): negative, hepatitis B surface antigen (HbSag): negative, rapid plasma reagin (RPR): nonreactive, gonococcus (GC)/Chlamydia: negative. The mother was given narcotic analgesia prior to delivery because of inadequate pain relief from her epidural anesthesia. Baby C was born with mild respiratory distress exhibited by grunting respirations and subcostal retractions. He was brought to the SCN for evaluation after receiving naloxone because of his weak respiratory effort. The mother began feeding the infant within four hours of delivery. Because she expressed a desire to breastfeed, she was given a breast pump to use every three to four hours to express milk that could be used to supplement Baby C’s direct breastfeeding. Because Baby C was a late preterm neonate, his suck was weak, he had fewer awake-alert states, and he did not exhibit the usual signs of feeding readiness such as rooting, lip smacking, and finger sucking.[12] If he had been allowed to suck only from the breast, he likely would not have received all the breast milk he needed.

Expressed breast milk was fed to Baby C through a supplemental nursing system (SNS), which utilizes a small tube attached to the maternal nipple. The tube delivers a steady flow of milk to infants who have difficulty extracting milk directly from the breast.[14] The use of the SNS with expressed breast milk allowed Baby C to ingest a measured amount of milk while also allowing him unrestricted access to the breast. After about 30 hours of this feeding cycle, a bilirubin level was obtained. Phototherapy was initiated with a total bilirubin level of 10.8 micromol/liter. As a result of Baby C’s ineffective sucking, sleepiness, and high bilirubin level, alternate feeding methods were implemented. These included finger feeding and the use of a Haberman feeder, a specialized feeding bottle with a valve and teat mechanism to adjust the milk flow to prevent overwhelming the baby with milk.[15] Despite these measures, Baby C continued to lose weight because he was unable to take in the necessary measured feeding to ensure an adequate caloric and fluid intake. Ultimately, it became necessary to insert a nasogastric feeding tube (NGT) at 72 hours of age to meet his nutritional needs.

During the four days following insertion of the NGT, Baby C’s feeding plan was revised multiple times by different providers. If a formal feeding assessment by a certified lactation consultant had been initiated earlier, a feeding plan could have been established for this baby, alleviating confusion among team members. On day of life (DOL) 5, the health care team met to discuss Baby C’s situation. The team decided to give him a 48-hour period of exclusive feeding through the NGT to establish sufficient, sustained caloric intake and weight gain. Feeding by mouth (PO) was reintroduced on DOL 7, when Baby C exhibited positive feeding cues, such as sucking on his fingers and alertness. Baby C was then successfully transitioned exclusively to PO feedings over the course of the next few days and was discharged on DOL 12, after adequate weight gain. He was sent home with his parents with a feeding plan that called for the use of both expressed breast milk and formula.

Failure to immediately recognize the needs of this late preterm infant may have led to prolonged hospitalization and potential failure of breastfeeding. Baby C did not successfully transition to exclusive breastfeeding before his discharge, but with the assistance of the outpatient lactation consultant and the breastfeeding support group, he transitioned to breastfeeding almost exclusively at home.

Baby C is a good example of how evaluating newborns strictly on physical appearance and treating late preterm neonates as if they were term neonates can increase their susceptibity to complications such as hyperbilirubinemia and feeding difficulties. Wang and colleagues note that feeding problems are the dominant reason for discharge delays among late preterm infants, generating greater hospital costs.[2] Late preterm infants, who exhibit feeding behaviors and skills more like those of premature than term infants, benefit when parents can discern their needs and respond supportively. Ludwig suggests teaching parents techniques such as pacing, appropriate postural support, feeding positions conducive to improved coordination, and reading cues of hunger and stress.[13] It may be beneficial for these infants to utilize a cue-based feeding regimen. There are several lactation positions that are successful for the late preterm infant, including the dancer’s hand, which assists with stabilization of the infant’s jaw so he does not slip off the breast (Figure 1). The clutch or football and the cross-cradle positions allow a mother to support the infant’s trunk and control the flexion and extension of the infant’s head.[1]

 

Figure 1. Dancers Hand.

If the infant is unable to successfully breastfeed within six hours after delivery, hand expression or pumping should be initiated. Mothers should utilize a hospital grade breast pump and be encouraged to pump eight to ten times in 24 hours.[12]

Discussion

It is clear from both research and practical application within a nursery that a protocol (Table 1) and a late preterm infant order set (Figure 2) designed specifically for these infants are called for to anticipate their unique needs. NICHD recognized the need for consistency in categorizing such infants because late preterm infants have specific needs and challenges.[4] Grouping them with more premature infants could complicate their care. Placing them in the same category as term infants merely because they look physically developed and mature can cause caregivers to overlook their unique needs. Two prominent deficiencies in late preterm infants—feeding challenges and hyperbilirubinemia—can be dealt with much more efficiently if a distinct protocol is utilized. Overlooking such deficiencies initially can lead to prolonged hospitalization or readmission to the hospital and may deprive the infant of proper nutrition or the opportunity to breastfeed exclusively.

[ CLOSE WINDOW ]

Table 1. Late Preterm Infant Protocol

Risk Factors

Assessment at Birth–24 Hours and Beyond

Parent Discharge Education

Jaundice/Hyperbilirubinemia
Late preterm neonates are at higher risk than term neonates for hyperbilirubinemia.[17]
Other risk factors include early onset of jaundice, sibling with history of jaundice, suboptimal breastfeeding, bruising from birth trauma, large for gestational age neonate, and blood group incompatibility.[11]

Review gestational age and hyperbilirubinemia risk factors.
Assess for feeding adequacy.
Assess for jaundice using a transcutaneous bilimeter within 24 hours of age, or sooner in presence of additional risk factors.
Obtain serum bilirubin level with first phenylketonuria (PKU) sample or sooner for neonate at increased risk.

Establish adequate feedings to reduce the incidence of hyperbilirubinemia.
Before discharge, give parents written information on the significance of jaundice as well as its signs and symptoms.
Tell parents that late preterm neonates’ bilirubin levels typically peak at about DOL 5–7.[17]
Ensure adequate pediatric follow-up post-discharge to monitor bilirubin levels.

Feeding Challenges
Late preterm neonates may have immature suck and swallow reflexes.[13]
These infants may have altered sleep-wake cycles and decreased endurance, which can inhibit breastfeeding.[1]
Inadequate nutritional intake is a risk factor for hypoglycemia.[1]

Determine gestational age to assess risk for poor suck and swallow.
Obtain assistance of lactation consultant to assess infant’s ability to latch; also discuss the benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk for preterm newborns.
Assess adequacy of feedings, including weight loss, dehydration, and hypoglycemia.
If the infant is stable, arrange for mother to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of life, as well as unlimited skin-to-skin contact.[1]
Teach mother early feeding cues.[18]
Obtain blood glucose levels according to hospital guidelines.

Signs of feeding readiness and infant cues include alertness and rooting.[18]
Parents must learn how to assess their infant’s feeding adequacy.
Stress the importance of frequent follow-up with pediatician or infant care provider after discharge.
Nursing, the lactation consultant, and the infant care provider should create a feeding plan for the late preterm neonate.[10]

Between 1996 and 2006, the rate of infants born late preterm in the U.S. increased more than 18 percent.[16] It seems only prudent to develop a protocol to help decrease morbidity and mortality in these vulnerable infants.

[ CLOSE WINDOW ]

References

  1. Meir, P. P., Furman, L. M., & Degenhardt, M. (2007). Increased lactation risk for late preterm infants and mothers: Evidence and management strategies to protect breastfeeding. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 52, 579–587.
  2. Wang, M. L., Dorer, D. J., Fleming, M. P., & Catlin, E. A. (2004). Clinical outcomes of near-term infants. Pediatrics, 114, 372–376.
  3. Tomascek, K. M., Davidoff, M. J., Shapiro-Mendoza, C. K., & Petrin, J. R. (2007). Differences in mortality between late-preterm and term singleton infants in the United States. The Journal of Pediatrics, 151, 450–456.
  4. Raju, T. N., Higgins, R. D., Stark, A. R., & Lereno, K. J. (2006). Optimizing care and outcome for late-preterm (near term) infants: A summary of the workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Pediatrics, 118, 1207–1214.
  5. Wolf, L. S., & Glass, R. P. (1992). Feeding and swallowing disorders in infancy; assessment and management. Tucson, AZ: Communication Skill Builders.
  6. Laptook, A., & Jackson, G. L. (2006). Cold stress and hypoglycemia in the late preterm (“near-term”) infant: Impact on nursery of admission. Seminars in Perinatology, 30, 24–27.
  7. Sarci, S. U., Serdar, M. A., Korkmaz, A., Erdman, G., Oran, O., Tekinalp, G., et al. (2004). Incidence, course, and prediction of hyperbilirubinemia in the late preterm and term newborns. Pediatrics, 113, 775–780.
  8. Watchko, J. F. (2006). Hyperbilirubinemia and bilirubin toxicity in the late preterm infant. Clinics in Perinatology, 33, 839–852.
  9. Bhutani, V. K., Schwoebel, A., & Gennaro, S. (2006). A systems approach for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in term and late preterm newborns. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 35, 444–455.
  10. Fraser-Askin, D., Bakewell-Sachs, S., Medoff-Cooper, B., Rosenberg, S., & Santa-Donnato, A. (2007). Late preterm infant assessment guide. Washington, DC: Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
  11. Medoff-Cooper, B., Bakewell-Sachs, S., Buus-Frank, M. E., & Santa-Donato, A. (2005). The AWHONN Near-term infant initiative: A conceptual framework for optimizing health for near-term infants. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 34, 666–671.
  12. Walker, M. (2008). Breastfeeding the late preterm infant. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 37, 692–701.
  13. Ludwig, S. M. (2007). Oral feeding and the late preterm infant. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, 7(2), 72–75.
  14. Wilson-Clay, B., & Hoover, K. (2005). The breastfeeding atlas (3rd ed.). Manchaca, TX: LactNews Press.
  15. walker, M. (2002). Core curriculum for lactation consultant practice. Sudbury, MA: jones and Bartlett.
  16. March of Dimes. (2009). Peristats. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from www.marchofdimes.com/peristats
  17. Smitherman, H., Stark, A. R., & Bhutani, V. K. (2006). early recognition of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and its emergent management. Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 11, 214–224.
  18. Thoyre, S. M., Shaker, C. S., & Pridham, K. F. (2005). The early feeding skills assessment for preterm infants. Neonatal Network, 24(3), 7–16.
  19. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2008). Protocol 10: Breastfeeding the near-term infant (35 to 37 weeks gestation). Retrieved April 20, 2009, from www.bfmed.org/resources/protocols.aspx

The author would like to extend a special thank-you to Susan Beebe, RN, IBCLC, for her support and knowledge in breastfeeding.

Neonatal Network. 2010;29(1):37-41. © 2010 Neonatal Network

 

 


Surgeon General Promotes Breastfeeding


The U.S. Surgeon General has issued a call to action to get more mothers to breastfeed. Here’s a fact sheet from the Surgeon General, which includes information on the cost savings benefits of breastfeeding.  And here’s a clip from today’s press release:

Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin today issued a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding,” outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies.

“Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed,” Dr. Benjamin said. “They shouldn’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed.”

“Of course, the decision to breastfeed is a personal one,” she added, “no mother should be made to feel guilty if she cannot or chooses not to breastfeed.”

While 75 percent of U.S. babies start out breastfeeding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at the end of six months.  The rates are particularly low among African-American infants.

Many mothers who attempt to breastfeed say several factors impede their efforts, such as a lack of support at home; absence of family members who have experience with breastfeeding; a lack of breastfeeding information from health care clinicians; a lack of time and privacy to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace; and an inability to connect with other breastfeeding mothers in their communities.

Dr. Benjamin’s “Call to Action” identifies ways that families, communities, employers and health care professionals can improve breastfeeding rates and increase support for breastfeeding:

  • Communities should expand and improve programs that provide mother-to-mother support and peer counseling.
  • Health care systems should ensure that maternity care practices provide education and counseling on breastfeeding.  Hospitals should become more “baby-friendly,” by taking steps like those recommended by the UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Clinicians should ensure that they are trained to properly care for breastfeeding mothers and babies.  They should promote breastfeeding to their pregnant patients and make sure that mothers receive the best advice on how to breastfeed.
  • Employers should work toward establishing paid maternity leave and high-quality lactation support programs.  Employers should expand the use of programs that allow nursing mothers to have their babies close by so they can feed them during the day.  They should also provide women with break time and private space to express breast milk.
  • Families should give mothers the support and encouragement they need to breastfeed.

  • Breastfeeding Broke My Heart


    Source:Confessions of Dr. Mom

    Or, rather, the inability to truly breastfeed broke my heart. I wasn’t sure I’d be ready to tell my story for quite some time. I felt inspired, compelled to share it now, don’t know why…but here it is…

    “You have insufficient glandular tissue.” These words were spoken to me by my lactation consultant after what seemed like hours as she poked and prodded my breasts. I was three weeks in to being a new mommy and I was an emotional wreck.  Breastfeeding was going horribly…I was hardly producing any milk and despite all my attempts, I just couldn’t figure out why.

    Read More Confessions of Dr. Mom