State of the Science: Use of Human Milk and Breast-feeding for Vulnerable Infants

Spatz, Diane L. PhD, RNC

Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing. 20(1):51-55


Human milk is the preferred form of nutrition for all infants including those born preterm or otherwise ill. However, without the commitment of knowledgeable healthcare providers to ensure success during mother-infant separation, many infants fail to receive their mother’s own milk. Care of the mother-infant dyad during infant illness requires vigilant monitoring of the lactation experience and the commitment of healthcare providers to take a family through the step-by-step process needed to ensure positive outcomes related to the use of human milk and breast-feeding for vulnerable infants. The science tells us that human milk is the best form of nutrition for all infants. As practitioners we must be doing everything in our power to make sure the infants we care for are able to receive their mother’s own milk.

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