Are there interventions that improve breastfeeding and the use of breast milk in late preterm infants?

Louise Evans, Cathie Hilditch, Amy Keir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


To answer the clinical question ‘Among late preterm infants are there any interventions that improve the rates of breastfeeding and the use of breast milk compared with current practice?’. MEDLINE via Ovid, Embase via Ovid, the Maternity and Infant Care Database and the Cochrane Library were searched for relevant articles. Articles were excluded if they did not discuss specific interventions to improve breastfeeding, for example, if they only commented on factors such as age, race and education. Articles were also excluded if they were not specific to the late preterm infant population. A total of 516 articles were found and screened by title and abstract independently by two reviewers. The full text of 17 articles was independently reviewed. The reference lists of these full-text articles were screened, and 14 abstracts were subsequently reviewed. The final analysis included three studies. There is limited high-quality research evidence for interventions to improve breastfeeding in late preterm infants. In the absence of robust academic research, clinical practice should be guided by clinical expertise and involve a multidisciplinary team, including qualified lactation consultants. While it seems reasonable for hospitals to support interventions that improve breastfeeding in term infants, managing late preterm infants as healthy term infants without additional specialist support may result in high breastfeeding failure rates among late preterm infants.

Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • breastfeeding or breast milk or growth
  • clinical improvement or quality improvement or gold standard or guideline
  • intensive care units, neonatal
  • nutritional outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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