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How critically ill infants can benefit most from human milk
Date:8/6/2014

y offered within a U.S. children's hospital.

In the special issue, Spatz and her colleagues from CHOP and other institutions cover a variety of topics on the provision of human milk in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), including original research articles, ethical rationales for the provision of human milk, and evidence-based methods for implementing particular programs.

  • "Characteristics of the NICU Work Environment Associated with Breastfeeding Support," original research led by Sunny G. Hallowell, Ph.D., PPCNP-BC, IBCLC, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, analyzes data from a 2008 survey of 6,060 registered nurses in 104 NICUs. This large national sample found that overall, NICU nurses provided breastfeeding support to about 1 in 7 mothers, around the clock. Infants and mothers were more likely to receive this support in units with adequate nurse staffing. Low-birthweight infants were significantly more likely to be discharged on human milk when NICUs were staffed by nurses with B.S.N. degrees.

  • "An Ethical Case for the Provision of Human Milk in the NICU," by Elizabeth B. Froh, Ph.D., R.N., clinical supervisor of CHOP's Lactation Team and the Human Milk Management Center, and Spatz, argues that under the "best interest principle" the infant's best interest, not parental authority, should have priority in guiding infant feeding practices, particularly for critically ill babies in the NICU. The well-documented health benefits of human milk, say the authors, make it the optimal form of nutrition for those infants.

  • "Implementation of a Human Milk Management Center," by Spatz and colleagues describes the CHOP experience in developing its Human Milk Management Center. This centralized facility optimizes the provision of human milk for the most vulnerable infants, allowing staff to analyze human milk, fortifying milk under clean conditions, and making skim milk for infants with conditions requ
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Contact: Alison Fraser
Frasera1@email.chop.edu
267-426-6054
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert  

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