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Authors

  1. Johnson, Jessica M. MSN, RN, PNP-PC
  2. Adams, Ellise D. PhD, CNM
  3. O'Neal, Pamela V. PhD, RN

Abstract

Since newborns are a vulnerable population that cannot protect their own microbiome, healthcare professionals can promote, advocate, and assist with breastfeeding promotion to protect the healthy development of the newborn gastrointestinal microbiome. The newborn gastrointestinal microbiome is a dynamic community of bacteria that influence health. Breastfeeding seeds and feeds the newborn gastrointestinal microbiome. A disruption in the balance of the gastrointestinal microbiome can result in adverse health outcomes. This clinical article makes an evidence-based connection between breastfeeding and the establishment of the newborn gastrointestinal microbiome through breastfeeding promotion strategies during the childbearing year. Suggestions for healthcare profession education and future research that will continue to inform the understanding of healthy development of the microbiome will be provided. By assisting with breastfeeding promotion, healthcare professionals can protect the newborn gastrointestinal microbiome and promote overall newborn, infant, and child health.