Comparison of late preterm and early term mother infant dyads attending a breastfeeding centre

Laurene Aydon, Margo Zimmer, Yvonne Hauck, Emma Harris, Mary Sharp, Liz Ashton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breastfeeding support is essential for mothers of late preterm and early term infants. Our aim was to compare breastfeeding data from mother-infant dyads of late preterm (33 to 36+6) and early term infants (37 to 37+6) related to referral and follow-up consults from visits to a Western Australian breastfeeding centre (BFC). A retrospective audit was conducted between December 2016 and May 2017 with mother-infant dyads of these two groups who birthed at a tertiary referral hospital, were discharged breastfeeding and referred to the BFC. The sample included 78 late preterm and 75 early term dyads. Differences in maternal reasons for BFC referrals confirmed mothers with late preterm infants experienced more attachment issues (p=0.002), whereas mothers of early term infants had more supply issues (p=0.000). Infant reasons for referral were comparable with attachment noted as greater than 80% across both groups. Late preterm infants had a longer length of hospital stay (p=0.001) and early term dyads had a shorter timeframe between request and first appointment at the BFC (mean 7.7 days vs 10.6 days; p=0.033). Identifying similarities and differences in breastfeeding practices can inform strategies to better address the breastfeeding support needs between these vulnerable dyads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalBreastfeeding Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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