medical follow-up of the neonate and the support of either breastfeeding or appropriate formula feeding. Early discharge (<48 hours after delivery) calls for earlier follow-up.17


Availability of the following nutrition services is basic to the preparation of parents for infant care, to the care of all normal infants, and to the care of previously ill or disabled infants who have been discharged to routine care. (See also Chapter 3 for information about services in support of breastfeeding.)

  • Offer or organize structured programs to provide information about infant feeding choices to pregnant women and their partners and to support breastfeeding efforts in the hospital and following discharge.

  • Provide support for and assistance to breastfeeding mothers as described in the preceding section "Planning for the Support of the Breastfeeding Woman." This may include special support for mothers of twins or triplets and for those who plan to continue breastfeeding after returning to work or school.

  • Evaluate and manage the nutritional care of the infant.

    • Screen for nutrition-related problems such as phenylketonuria, over-or underfeeding, inappropriate feedings or nutrient supplements, and abnormal patterns of growth.

    • Measure, monitor, and assess infant growth.

    • Provide instructions for the safe preparation of infant formula, feeding instructions, and anticipatory guidance for the primary caregiver and others as appropriate.

    • Address feeding practices to prevent the development of tooth decay in infants.

    • Determine the need to adjust feeding strategies, formula (if used), and vitamin-mineral supplements.

    • Adjust recommendations to treat food -and nutrition-related problems of the infant, such as overnutrition, undernutrition, anemia, and allergies.

    • Consult with specialists concerning complex nutritional challenges (see Chapter 5) and make referrals as necessary.

  • Provide for the continuity of nutritional care; this includes referral to and communications with outpatient and home health services and parental support groups, as well as referral to local agencies with food and nutrition programs (see Chart 3-2) when appropriate.

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