Breastfeeding Medicine

Physicians blogging about breastfeeding

Author Archive

Pediatric literature catching up to lactation literature?

with 2 comments

A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics explored the unfortunately still-common dogma that “breastfeeding takes too much energy”  for preterm babies.

The investigators looked at 19 preterm infants born at approximately 32 weeks gestational age — the age at which most babies will be starting to show obvious  feeding cues like rooting and sucking.   They allowed them to begin oral feeds once they had reached 34 weeks’ gestation, and measured their resting energy expenditure 20 minutes after each type of feeding.

The research team was surprised — the difference in energy expenditure was not statistically significantly different (if anything, a little less.) They noted that it did take longer for the babies to breastfeed, but concluded that “we speculate that it is safe to recommend feeding at the breast for infants born at >32 weeks when they can tolerate oral feeding.”

If my colleagues in neonatology aren’t reading the breastfeeding literature, or even looking at websites summarizing it — like Dr Jack Newman’s — perhaps they will learn from this article.

It gives me some hope… even if Swedish babies are allowed to start breastfeeding as early as 28 weeks (see previous  link).   We all have to start somewhere.

Kimberly Lee, MD, MS, IBCLC, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology) at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Posts on this blog reflect the opinions of individual ABM members, not the organization as a whole.

Written by neobfmd

May 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Posted in research

Sustaining breastfeeding in the US: a control issue?

with 3 comments

The New York Times today drew notice to a recent CDC report on the rates of breastfeeding in the US from 2004-2008.

We still aren’t making the mark.

The overall percentage of moms initiating breastfeeding continues to increase, and in fact appears very close to reaching the Healthy People 2010 target of 75%.  However,  the rates of “any” sustained breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months  (41.7% and 21% respectively) are disappointing, as are persistent racial and geographic disparities.
What will it take to allow breastfeeding to become normative in our society? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by neobfmd

April 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

Jaundice, breastfeeding both normal for newborns

with 6 comments

ABM’s newly released Clinical Protocol #22: Guidelines for the Management of Jaundice in Breastfeeding Infants 35 Weeks’ Gestation or More concludes with the reminder that “(j)aundice and some degree of hyperbilirubinemia are normal and expected aspects of newborn development. Breastfeeding is also a normal and expected aspect of infancy and childhood.”

I personally loved this part, because I will never forget reading  Larry Gartner’s  work on bilirubin metabolism during a family medicine rotation in medical school.  That was what finally  pulled me into the growing, developing subjects of pediatrics and neonatology – and it was even before Dr Gartner went on to become a founding member of ABM and the lead author of this protocol. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by neobfmd

April 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Posted in physician training