Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant: Supporting Parents with the Challenges of Breastfeeding a Late Preterm Infant

  • Genevieve CurrieEmail author
  • Allison C. Munn
  • Sarah N. Taylor


Late preterm infants (LPIs) have specific vulnerabilities and increased risk for breastfeeding difficulties and hospital readmission, particularly within the first 2 weeks after birth. Breastfeeding the LPI can present multiple challenges for parents, nurses, lactation consultants (LCs), and healthcare providers (HCPs), including physiological instability (hypothermia, hypoglycemia, respiratory distress, and excessive or extended jaundice) and feeding immaturities (weak, ineffective, and uncoordinated suck and swallow patterns, fatigue with feedings, increased sleepiness, ineffective latch, and inadequate milk transfer), along with difficulty establishing maternal milk supply. These challenges warrant awareness, discussion, and tailored interventions to increase breastfeeding success and to decrease LPI feeding-related morbidity and rehospitalization. This chapter will include suggestions for managing breastfeeding difficulties for parents of LPIs and HCPs in both the postpartum hospital environment and home or community.


Late preterm infant Breastfeeding Feeding strategies Supplemental feedings Lactation support services 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Genevieve Currie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allison C. Munn
    • 2
  • Sarah N. Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Nursing and MidwiferyMount Royal UniversityCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of NursingFrancis Marion UniversityFlorenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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