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Breastfeed Rev. 2003 Mar;11(1):5-10.

Implementing the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative: the role of finger feeding.

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Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, PO Box 855, West Perth, Western Australia 6872, Australia.


The aim of our study was to assess the effectiveness of finger feeding in encouraging a breastfeeding-type suck in preterm infants. Through identification of a baby who was developing a suck technique or was discovered to have a faulty technique, we hypothesised that preterm breastfeeding rates could be increased by correcting the suck technique of the infant, whilst being cared for in the Special Care Nursery (SCN). The study was conducted on discharge from the SCN at two time periods, before and after the introduction of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in one hospital in Perth, Western Australia. Prior to BFHI, 44% of preterm infants were breastfed on discharge from the SCN compared to 71% post BFHI implementation. We have shown, using a pre- and post-breastfeeding health promotion initiative within a maternity hospital, that preterm breastfeeding rates can be increased on discharge from the SCN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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