Breastfeeding preterm born infant: Chance and challenge

Svetlana Zukova (Coresponding Author), Valda Krumina, Jelena Buceniece

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Background and Objectives: For preterm infants, breastmilk plays an important role in their development, but mothers encounter a number of barriers to breastfeeding. The aim of this study was to investigate breastfeeding prevalence in preterm infants and to examine factors that may face mothers when starting to feed at-breast and their impact on the result. Methods: Women (N = 79) with preterm infants (N = 84) were interviewed within the follow-up program in Latvia during a six-month period in 2018 using the original study protocol. Results: 61.9% infants were breastfed and 38.1% were not. The median infant birth weight in breastfed group was 1730 g, the median duration of tube feeding 21 days. The median age when started to feed at-breast 33 days. Later only 40.4% infants were still feeding at-breast. A relationship was found between breastfeeding and the mother's confidence during pregnancy that she would breastfeed (P <.05). 98% mothers who began to feed at-breast, during pregnancy were confident that they would breastfeed. 54.2% women who started to breastfeed as success mentioned medical staff training, 29.2% family support. The median birth weight in the non-breastfed group was 1494 g, the median duration of tube feeding 21 days. 50% women who did not begin to breastfeed had not received enough information about breastfeeding; 17.2% during pregnancy were not confident that they would breastfeed. 38.7% women stated infants’ inability to suckle as failure, 22.6% thought they had no milk. Mothers under 32 years were more likely not to breastfeed their infant (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.33–1.96). Conclusion: Most mothers began to breastfeed immediately, less than half continued later. Women did not receive enough family support. Young maternal age was associated with decrease in breastfeeding. Mothers with higher education were more likely to breastfeed. Being born extremely preterm and very preterm were associated with the least chance of being breastfed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-97
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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