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Breastfeeding the Infant With Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Post Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

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Infants born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) often require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Infants on ECMO may experience a long period of being nothing by mouth (NPO) while receiving parenteral nutrition. Once the infant with CDH is repaired and off ECMO, human milk should be used to initiate enteral feedings. Human milk provides immunologic, developmental, and nutritional protection for these highrisk infants and may be crucial in decreasing morbidities commonly associated with post-ECMO survivors. These mother–infant dyads require extensive lactation support to ensure maintenance of milk supply and successful transition to direct breastfeeding. Three case studies are presented as exemplars to demonstrate how breastfeeding success can be achieved even in the most vulnerable infants.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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