Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


Breast milk, Insufficient milk supply, Milk expression, Premature, VLBW infant.



  1. Parker, Leslie A. PhD, NNP-BC
  2. Sullivan, Sandra MD
  3. Krueger, Charlene PhD, ARNP
  4. Kelechi, Teresa PhD
  5. Mueller, Martina PhD


Abstract: The provision of breast milk to premature VLBW infants is associated with significant health benefits. Unfortunately, the delivery of breast milk to these vulnerable infants is often limited due to insufficient maternal milk supply. Several interventions have been investigated with respect to increasing milk volume in mothers of VLBW infants but confusion exists concerning the interventions' effectiveness. The purpose of this systematic review is to critique the evidence regarding specific milk expression strategies that aim to improve milk volume in mothers of VLBW infants.Published article references, electronic databases, dissertations and theses, and select conference proceedings were searched with the goal of finding studies that target VLBW infants and milk expression techniques in which breast milk volume was an outcome. Analysis of evidence revealed an association between increased milk volume and early initiation of expression, increased frequency of expression, and provision of kangaroo care. The use of simultaneous or sequential milk expression and duration of milk expression sessions were not found to significantly improve milk volume. These results may be used to formulate specific strategies designed to increase breast milk volume in this population.