Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has dependence on neurobiological maturation more than experience or learning. Neurobiological maturation affects the ability of preterm and late-preterm infants ability to feed successfully.

Once breastfeeding has been established, pacifier use does not seem to affect duration or quality of feeding.  Pacifier use may help calm irritable and/or drug exposed infants. Pacifier use after two months of age may help prevent SIDS.

Breastfeeding (along with prenatal care and labor and delivery ministations) can bring up painful emotions for women who have been sexually abused.

Reflection: 

How does my practice setting actively and passively promote breastfeeding?

References and Resoources:

Hallowell, S. & Spatz, D. (2012). The relationship of brain development and breastfeeding in the late-preterm infant. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 27: 154-162.

Hung, K. & Berg, O. (2011). Early skin-to-skin after cesarean to improve breastfeeding. MCN, 36: 318-326.