Avoidance of bottles during the establishment of breast feeds in preterm infants
Using a cup instead of a bottle increases the extent and duration of breast feeding in preterm infants.
Preterm infants start milk feeds by gavage tube. As they mature, sucking feeds are gradually introduced. Women who choose to breast feed their preterm infant are not always able to be in hospital with their baby and need an alternative approach to feeding. Most commonly, milk is given by bottle, but whether this is detrimental to breast feeding is a topic of debate. This review aims to identify the effects of avoidance of bottle feeds during establishment of breast feeding on the likelihood of successful breast feeding, and also assesses the safety of alternatives to bottle feeds.