Early exclusive birth/lactating parent's own milk (B/LPOM) feeds have been associated with longer duration of B/LPOM use for infant feedings in healthy term and hospitalized preterm infants. This relationship has not been explored in infants undergoing neonatal surgery (surgical infants).
To evaluate the relationship between early exclusive B/LPOM feeds and cumulative B/LPOM patterns during surgical infants' neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization.
A secondary cross-sectional analysis was performed using the electronic health record data of surgical infants admitted to a level IV NICU between January 2014 and March 2015. Multiple linear regression and Fisher's exact test were used to examine the associations between first NICU feed type and total percentage of diet composed of B/LPOM during NICU stay and continuation of any or exclusive B/LPOM feedings at NICU discharge, respectively.
The analysis included 59 infants who required surgery for gastrointestinal, cardiac, or multisystem defects or pregnancy-related complications. Receipt of B/LPOM as the first NICU feed was associated with higher percentage of B/LPOM feeds (P < .001) throughout NICU stay, as well as continuation of any or exclusive B/LPOM feedings at NICU discharge (P = .03).
Implications for Practice:
Early exclusive B/LPOM feeds may be an important predictor for continuation of any B/LPOM use throughout the NICU stay and at NICU discharge. Continued efforts to identify and address gaps in prenatal and postpartum lactation support for parents of surgical infants are needed.
Implications for Research:
Powered studies are needed to corroborate these findings and to explore the potential impact of other factors on duration and exclusivity of B/LPOM use.