Breastfeeding your Premature Infant

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Additional Resources

General breastfeeding info

SPIN: Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition from UC San Diego Health System. “The Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) program was developed to address the challenges of helping mothers produce sufficient breast milk for their premature infants, and to improve the manner in which neonatal intensive care unit (NICUs) support optimal nutrition and growth in their most vulnerable population of patients.”

PDF A Guide for Breastfeeding your Premature Baby at Home by Karin Gracey, RNC, MSN, CNNP and Jane A. Morton, MD, from the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative’s Nutritional Support of the Very Low Birth Weight Infant


Breastfeeding the High-Risk Newborn from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Breastfeeding the Near Term Infant by Elya Boies, MD

Breastfeeding Premature Infants Includes benefits, tips for getting started, mothers’ stories and more.

Breastfeeding Premature Babies from

Kangaroo Mother Care is the website of Dr Nils Bergman. “The purpose of this site is to promote the spread and implementation of kangaroo mother care as the standard method of care for all newborn babies, both premature and full term.”

Breastfeeding the Hospitalized Baby by Cyndi Egbert (not specific to to preemies)

When Baby Is Hospitalized by Tricia Jalbert (not specific to to preemies)

Guidelines for health care providers (also great for parents)

Nutritional Support of the Very Low Birth Weight Infant: Toolkit (December 2008) from the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative. This Toolkit has many resources for both health care professionals and parents.

Post-discharge nutrition for the breastfed former NICU infant by Nancy E. Wight, MD, FAAP, IBCLC

Breastfeeding a Preterm Infant after NICU Discharge: Reflections on Ryan’s Story by Paula P. Meier, R.N., DNSc, FAAN and Linda P. Brown, RN, PHD, FAAN, from Breastfeeding Abstracts, August 1997, Volume 17, Number 1, pp. 3-4.

Gaining and Growing: Assuring Nutritional Care of Preterm Infants is a virtual textbook for health care providers and parents who need to understand feeding and growth in premature infants (especially those with very low birthweight, <1500 g) after hospital discharge.

PDF Breastfeeding the Healthy Preterm Infant </= 37 weeks is an excellent guide for health care professionals (and useful for parents too) from the British Colombia Reproductive Care Program

Furman L, Minich N, Hack M. Correlates of lactation in mothers of very low birth weight infants. Pediatrics. 2002 Apr;109(4):e57. This study discusses the factors that enhance long-term breastfeeding for very low birth weight babies.

Pumping, milk expression & supplementing

Expressing milk for your premature baby by Paula P. Meier, R.N., DNSc, FAAN. (nice for printing; pages 13-14 only). PDF Here

Pumping milk for a preterm infant by Nancy E. Wight MD, FAAP, IBCLC

Effect of domperidone on milk production in mothers of premature newborns:
a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Mothers’ Stories

Breastfeeding Premature Infants. From La Leche League: true stories of mothers’ experiences breastfeeding premature infants.

The Premature Infant – A Mother’s Perspective by Lenore Goldfarb

General (not breastfeeding related)

Developmental Milestones for Premature Infants by Maureen Mulligan LaRossa, RN

Beyond Infancy: The Older Premature Child from the Emory Developmental Progress Clinic

AAFP Recommendations for Follow-up of the Premature Infant

Helpful books and videos

Recommended books on premature babies @

Reviews of books about breastfeeding premature babies from LLL

BreastmilkSolutions offers two excellent videos: “A Premie Needs His Mother: First Steps to Breastfeeding your Premature Baby” and “Breastfeeding: A Guide to Getting Started”

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