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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
NASCIMENTO, Maria Beatriz R. do and ISSLER, Hugo. Breastfeeding in premature infants: in-hospital clinical management. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2004, vol.80, n.5, suppl., pp. s163-s172. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572004000700008.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the importance of breastfeeding and its promotion in the in-hospital clinical management of premature newborns. SOURCE OF DATA: The authors made an extensive literature review on the topic, including technical books, theses, publications of national and international organizations, and search on MEDLINE database (1990 to 2003), using the following key words and boolean operators: "breastfeeding AND low birth weight" and "breastfeeding AND preterm infant". Some significant references cited in the reviewed publications were used as well. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: After this review we conclude that many aspects make the breast milk particularly suitable to the premature newborn feeding. Despite being highly desirable, little success in breastfeeding preterm infants is generally observed, particularly in special care neonatal units, although there are evidences suggesting that a highly supportive hospital environment can make it possible to breastfeed these infants. CONCLUSIONS: Although breastfeeding premature infants represents a challenge, it is feasible if appropriate help and support are provided. Mothers of premature infants need information and support to make informed decisions about their infants feeding.
Keywords : Breastfeeding; human milk; newborn; preterm infant; neonatal care.