Exclusive human milk feeding for very low birth weight infants in the NICU: How many days do mothers need to pump?
OBJECTIVE: To determine the number of days of pumping needed to achieve enough milk to provide exclusive HM feeding during the NICU hospitalization for VLBW infants.
METHODS: Maternal pumping and infant intake records (n=157) were examined from a prospective cohort study. Forecasting methods were used to predict the total number of days of pumping required to provide exclusive HM feeding throughout the NICU hospitalization using three common average daily maternal milk volume scenarios: low volume (250 mL), average volume (500 mL), and high volume (750 mL).
RESULTS: Mean length of hospitalization and mean infant intake for the NICU hospitalization for VLBW infants were 72 days and 16,158 mL, respectively. To provide exclusive HM throughout the NICU stay, mothers with low, average, and high volumes must pump 68, 36, and 24 days, respectively.
CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that exclusive human milk feeding for VLBW infants during the NICU hospitalization is possible when mothers are able to achieve a minimal volume of 250 mL per day and pump for a sufficient number of days.
Learning Areas:Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Describe the number of days of pumping needed to achieve enough milk to provide exclusive HM feeding during the NICU hospitalization for VLBW infants
Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Practice
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a breastfeeding researchers and have published in this area for the past 5 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.