Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant

Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant

In the first part of this well-referenced monograph, Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC describes the late preterm infant, discusses contributors to late preterm birth, and explains the importance of the last six weeks of gestation. (see more below)

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In the first part of this well-referenced monograph, Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC describes the late preterm infant, discusses contributors to late preterm birth, and explains the importance of the last six weeks of gestation. She discusses the impact of birth interventions on breastfeeding the late preterm infant and explains why mothers of late preterm infants may be at increased risk of delayed lactogenesis II.

In the second part of the monograph, Walker discusses breastfeeding management guidelines for the late preterm infant. This includes issues the late preterm infant may face, such as hypothermia, hypoglycemia, respiratory instability, hypotonia, and immature feeding skills, and their impact on breastfeeding. She covers how to provide latch assistance, assess feedings at the breast, when to supplement, how to use bottles and artificial nipples, how to help others initiate and maintain maternal milk supply, and ways to optimize milk production. Walker includes information on individualized feeding plans for moms to follow after discharge, including a sample plan. This monograph is full of pictures, graphs, and resources and is a must-have for all healthcare providers who help mothers breastfeed late preterm infants.

 

Author: Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-9815257-7-8

Total Pages: 84

Soft Cover

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Alicia I
11/19/2012

© International Lactation Consultant Association
ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
August 2009 – Available at www.ILCA.org
Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant: Improving Care and Outcomes
Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC
Hale Publishing, 2009
79 pages, illustrations, references, glossary, index, US$18.95, softcover
Orders: Hale Publishing, 1712 N Forest St, Amarillo, TX 79106 USA
Tel: 806-376-9900; toll-free: (800) 378-1317
URL: www.ibreastfeeding.com

Each year in the United States, 350,000 late preterm infants are born. This group of newborns is two to four times more likely to experience complications of respiratory distress, NICU admissions, sepsis, or hospitalization for more than 5 days. Assisting the mother of the late preterm baby with breastfeeding can be fraught with challenges and can be very time consuming.

In Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant, Marsha Walker shares practical information and
pragmatic suggestions that can aid the breastfeeding educator. She explains why the number of early births is on the rise, followed by an excellent overview of human newborn suck physiology. She goes on to explain the less competent suck coordination in late preterm babies, thus allowing a thorough understanding of the possible negative impact on the success of initial breastfeeding.

Under Breastfeeding Management Guidelines, Walker delineates the importance of kangaroo care, coupled with correct positioning, emphasizing that the mother keep her hand off the back of the newborn’s head. She further outlines how correct positioning assists gravity in milk transfer for the baby with a weak suck.

If optimizing position and latch of the infant at the breast does not sufficiently increase milk
transfer for optimal growth, Additional options are presented, such as when to supplement, how to use bottles and artificial nipples, and ways to optimize milk production. A sample of an individualized feeding/pumping plan for when the baby leaves the hospital is provided. Walker discusses the use of a nipple shield for preterm babies as it assists the baby in transferring more milk. Some readers may disagree with the suggestion “of picking the size to fit the infant’s mouth” (p.33) versus sized to fit the mother’s nipple.

There are many helpful pictures and graphs in this easy-to-read, well referenced, monograph. Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant gives a tight, crisp summary of the developmental difficulties of late preterm infants. It provides cogent suggestions on how the breastfeeding educator can address these difficulties in a manner that will, hopefully, have the infant solely breastfeeding within a few weeks.

Diane Powers, BA, IBCLC
Billings, Montana USA

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    Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant

    Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant

    In the first part of this well-referenced monograph, Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC describes the late preterm infant, discusses contributors to late preterm birth, and explains the importance of the last six weeks of gestation. (see more below)

    Write your review