How Do You Wean a Late Preterm Infant Off Supplements: You Mean I Have to Suck Feed?
In this chapter, the authors discuss supplementation as it applies to the needs of the late preterm infant. Parents need to learn the importance of nutritive and nonnutritive feeding and how that will help them learn the basics of when supplementation is necessary and when it can be discontinued. An awareness of the unique characteristics of late preterm infants will help families be realistic in their feeding experience after hospital discharge.
This chapter will also discuss different recommendations for hospital discharge including implementing a plan for optimal feeding post-discharge. Many of these suggestions are extrapolated from research with extremely premature newborns and premature newborns in general, as there is limited practical intervention-related research specific to the late preterm newborn. For those areas without literature support, expert advice was solicited from healthcare professionals working with the late preterm population.
Bottle feeding is a common supplemental mode for the late preterm infant. Infant suck-swallow-breathe skill, ability to communicate, position, parental skill, and bottle characteristics will all impact the late preterm infant’s success with bottle feeding. A variety of weaning tips to facilitate exclusive breastfeeding are also discussed in the chapter.
KeywordsLate preterm supplementation Bottle feeding Weaning Nonnutritive feed Nutritive feed
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