Even the Sickest Babies Benefit from Breast-Feeding

Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have created a successful program in which nurses helped mothers attain high rates of breast-feeding in very sick babies.

When babies are in critical condition, breast-feeding may not be considered a priority, or even feasible. But breast milk helps to fend off infection and provides easily digestible, nutritious ingredients that can reduce the infant's stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Eurekalert reports:

“[The researchers] describe a series of steps called the Transition to Breast Pathway, in which NICU nurses systematically guide the mother in breast-feeding practices, which culminated in a majority of the infants in the study (58 out of 80) feeding at their mother's breast before being discharged from the hospital.”

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