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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-102

Family-centered lactation counseling and breastfeeding in preterm infants upon neonatal intensive care discharge

Department of Neonatology, Istinye University Medical Park Hospital, Antalya, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Hakan Ongun
Department of Neonatology, Istinye University Medical Park Hospital, Antalya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcn.jcn_167_20

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Background: There is great variability in breastfeeding implications upon neonatal intensive care unit discharge for preterm infants. Aims and Objectives: To examine the breastfeeding rates and the impact of lactation-counseling on the nutrition following hospital discharge in preterm infants. Materials and Methods: A three-page survey was applied to the families of infants of gestational age ≤34 weeks who were hospitalized between 2016-2018. Exclusion criteria were family reluctance to consent, foster-care placement, acquiring enteral feeding by orogastric tube/gastrostomy. The group categorization was based on lactation-counselling that involved both parents and elderly relatives who would assist the mother at neonatal care. Statistics were performed using SPSS-22 for covariates of neonatal intensive care interventions and post-discharge nutrition. Results: Exclusive breastfeeding was 49.2% at hospital-discharge and declined to 31.3% at six months. Early introduction of complementary foods was 51.1%. Total duration of breastfeeding was 7.38±3.98 months. Lactation-counseling prolonged breastfeeding duration to 8.47±3.87 months. The program presented the highest odds of extending breastfeeding interventions beyond six months (OR: 2.183, 95% CI: 1.354–3.520). It favored the outcomes by reducing the introduction of formulas and complementary foods before six months (P = 0.044, P = 0.018). The physical contribution of the father towards nutrition was the most significant benefit claimed by the participants. (71.6 versus 51.8%). Conclusion: Family-centered peer lactation-counseling by the medical staff and increasing awareness for infant nutrition are promising local strategies in reaching the goals of national nutrition policies guided by the international recommendations in preterm infants.

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