Early term infants are less likely to be breastfed compared to full-term infants within the first hour and at one month after birth, reveals a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine.
The article is entitled "Breastfeeding Intensity and Exclusivity of Early Term Infants at Birth and One Month" and was written by Anita Noble, DNSc, Hadassah-Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel), Lawrence Noble, MD, Elmhurst/Hospital/Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Elmhurst, NY), and coauthors from Hadassah-Hebrew University and Kings County Hospital/SUNY-Downstate Medical Center (Brooklyn, NY).
‘Extra attention and lactation assistance are recommended to the early term infant and mother to help them overcome the challenges in breastfeeding.’
The researchers recommend that extra attention and lactation assistance be given to the early term infant/maternal pair to help overcome the difficulties in breastfeeding that may be caused by the neurologic immaturity of the infants.
Beginning breastfeeding within the critical hour(s) after birth can have a substantial impact on continuation rates at one month and on infant health, morbidity, and mortality.
Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine states: "This study emphasizes that though technically labeled as term infants, this is a high-risk population that requires added and targeted breastfeeding support programs."