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Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant


Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, 254 Conant Road, Weston, MA 02493.


Late preterm infants comprise the fastest growing segment of babies born prematurely. They arrive with disadvantages relative to feeding skills, stamina, and risk for conditions such as hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and slow weight gain. Breastfeeding these babies can be difficult and frustrating. Individualized feeding plans include special considerations to compensate for immature feeding skills and inadequate breast stimulation. Breastfeeding management guidelines are described that operate within the late preterm infant's special vulnerabilities.