Announcing our Newest Protocol: ABM Clinical Protocol #10: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant (34 0/7 to 36 6/7 Weeks Gestation) (First Revision June 2011)
I am pleased to announce our newest protocol has been published in Breastfeeding Medicine: ABM Clinical Protocol #10: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant (34 0/7 to 36 6/7 Weeks Gestation) (First Revision June 2011). This is a revision of the previously entitled ABM Clinical Protocol #10: ‘‘Breastfeeding the Near-Term Infant (35 to 37 Weeks Gestation)”. As this protocol starts out explaining:
“At the time this protocol was first written ‘‘near-term’’ infant was commonly used to describe infants born in the few weeks before the 37th week of gestation. In July 2005 a panel of experts assembled by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development designated infants born between 34 0/7 to 36 6/7 weeks of gestation as late preterm to emphasize the fact they are really ‘‘preterm’’ and not ‘‘almost term’’ and establish a uniform designation for this group of infants. This definition, however, includes infants born 1 week more premature (34 0/7–34 6/7 weeks) than the previous Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocol for the ‘‘near term infant’’ that encompassed infants born at 35 0/7 weeks to 36 6/7 weeks. In addition, infants born at 37 0/7–37 6/7 weeks may be at risk for breastfeeding problems and associated risks, and, therefore, the following guidelines may be applicable to these infants as well”. Breastfeeding Medicine 2001; 6(3):151-156.
This protocol is the perfect example of what we as the Protocol Committee hope can happen as we update and revise our Clinical Protocols on a 5 year basis. Unless the evidence has changed dramatically, the plan is to attempt to update the references and the data in such a way as to follow the general outline of the original protocol. The reasoning is that those of you who are used to using a particular protocol will think everything is changed if you see a completely differenct document, when maybe only one or two things have actually been changed. If the format remains generally the same, you will be able to easily see what has been updated and what has changed since the last version, and easily be able to update your own practice. Sometimes this is not possible if either practice really has changed extensively, or author styles and interpretation of the data are so different that there is just no way around it. But this protocol is an excellent example of how some of the evidence has changed, starting with the basic definition of the population, and there are many more references available ( 13 cited in 2004 versus 52 in 2011) but the basic outline has been followed, enhanced, and expanded to make an even better protocol than the original was.
As the ABM Protocol Chair, I speak for my Committee and for the ABM Board of Directors when I say we are very proud of these Clinical Protocols and our Statements, all of which can be found on our website. The Clinical Protocols are also accepted and published by the National Guidelines Clearinghouse, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, which has very stringent requirements for acceptance to their website.
So please check out this newest protocol, and keep your eye open for our next one, the brand new Clinical Protocol #24: Allergic Proctocolitis in the Exclusively Breastfed Infant!
Kathleen Marinelli MD, IBCLC, FABM is a neonatologist a Board member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and Chair of the ABM Protocol Committee.
Posts on this blog reflect the opinions of individual ABM members, not the organization as a whole.