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Keywords

Bottle feeding, Breastfeeding, Infants, Neonatal ICU, Premature

 

Authors

  1. Fuhrman, Lauren MA, CCC-SLP, IBCLC
  2. Ross, Erin Sundseth PhD, CCC-SLP

Abstract

Background: Post hospital discharge newborn feeding education mostly focuses on breastfeeding and is primarily targeted at term infants. Preterm and late-preterm infants are at risk for poor feeding postdischarge, and feeding challenges are common after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Families often have questions about feeding their infants after hospital discharge.

 

Purpose: The goal of this project was to collect data on what questions parents have about feeding their baby after discharge and what strategies may be helpful to improve feeding experiences. These data were intended to inform plans to offer a no-cost newborn feeding clinic for all new parents after hospital discharge.

 

Methods: A speech-language pathologist attended a preexisting lactation support group to meet with families and provide feeding support. The speech-language pathologist collected data on types of questions parents asked, education provided, and changes made during the visit to improve feeding experiences.

 

Results: Sixty-eight families were seen in the first 6 months of the clinic. Fifty-eight were families of babies cared for in the well baby nursery; 10 were families of graduates from the NICU. Seventy-five percent of the infants were born full-term. Maternal questions focused primarily on bottles and recognizing satiety. The most commonly provided changes included trials of different bottles or positions to improve infant comfort during feedings.

 

Clinical Implications: New parents often have questions about breastfeeding and bottle feedings after going home. Using these data, a decision was made to continue the no-cost infant feeding support group to address questions and provide guidance to parents after hospital discharge.