A Review of the Literature Examining the Benefits and Challenges, Incidence and Duration, and Barriers to Breastfeeding in Preterm Infants

Jennifer Callen, RNC, MSC; Janet Pinelli, RNC, MSCN, DNS


Adv Neonatal Care. 2005;5(2):72-88. 

In This Article

Implications for Research

After examining research pertaining to preterm infants, most clinicians are left with more questions than answers. Questions remain regarding the duration and use of human milk fortifiers; the relationship between sucking, swallowing, and breathing in breastfed infants; and the role of maturation versus breastfeeding experience in transitioning from gavage feeding to breastfeeding. Further research with improved methodological quality is required to assess the safety and efficacy of KMC in LBW infants.

To identify the true incidence and duration of breastfeeding in preterm infants, studies must use stratification and provide consistent, age-appropriate definitions of breastfeeding. To gain a better understanding of barriers to the successful establishment and maintenance of breastfeeding in preterm infants, future research must examine longitudinal barriers to breastfeeding beyond hospital discharge and until the age of optimal weaning. The identification of the key periods in the breastfeeding experience will help to identify specific timeframes during which barriers may be eliminated. These key periods will be explored in the companion original research article in this issue of the Journal.[117]

The print version of this article was originally certified for CE credit. For accreditation details, contact the publisher, Elsevier, The Curtis Center, Independence Square West, Philadelphia, PA 19106


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