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Midwifery. 1999 Jun;15(2):92-6.

Feeding outcome in breast-fed term babies supplemented by cup or bottle.

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  • 1St Mary's Maternity Hospital, Portsmouth, UK.



To describe the feeding method at discharge from midwifery care of term babies supplemented either by cup or bottle while in hospital.


A retrospective review of the obstetric and midwifery records of 531 consecutively born babies.


A large maternity unit, with an integral General Practitioner Unit, in an inner city in the south of England.


63 term breast-feeding babies; 30 supplemented by cup and 33 supplemented by bottle.


Breast feeding on discharge from midwifery care.


There were no significant differences between the bottle and cup supplementation groups in relation to feeding outcome (OR 1 94 95% CI 0.61, 6.31), or in the length of time from the beginning of supplementation to leaving hospital (median difference 1 95% CI 0, 1) or discharge from midwifery care (median difference 0 95% CI, -1, 1). Babies who received supplements of expressed breast milk, as opposed to artificial milk, were more likely to be supplemented by cup (OR 4 29, 95% CI 0.9, 26.91; p = 0.05), but were not more likely to be discharged from midwifery care breast feeding (OR 3.79, 95% CI 0.69, 38.36).


Owing to the small scale and retrospective nature of this survey, its results must be viewed with caution. However, given the apparent lack of evidence in this area, prospective work should be undertaken to examine the most appropriate method of supplementation for term babies. Generalisation from work related to babies in special care baby units is no longer acceptable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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