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A breastfeeding relaxation intervention promotes growth in late preterm and early term infants: results from a randomized controlled trial

Dib, Sarah; Wells, J; Eaton, Simon; Fewtrell, M; (2022) A breastfeeding relaxation intervention promotes growth in late preterm and early term infants: results from a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients , 14 (23) , Article 5041. 10.3390/nu14235041. Green open access

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Abstract

Breastfeeding involves signaling between mother and offspring through biological (breast milk) and behavioral pathways. This study tested this by examining the effects of a relaxation intervention in an understudied infant population. Breastfeeding mothers of late preterm (340/7–366/7 weeks) and early term (370/7–386/7 weeks) infants were randomized to the relaxation group (RG, n = 35), where they were asked to listen to a meditation recording while breastfeeding from 3 weeks post-delivery, or the control group (CG, n = 37) where no intervention was given. Primary outcomes-maternal stress and infant weight-were assessed at 2–3 (baseline) and 6–8 weeks post-delivery. Secondary outcomes included infant length, infant behavior, maternal verbal memory, salivary cortisol, and breast milk composition. Infants in the RG had significantly higher change in weight-for-age Z-score compared to those in CG (effect size: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.09, 0.71; p = 0.01), and shorter crying duration [RG: 5.0 min, 0.0–120.0 vs. CG: 30.0 min, 0.0–142.0; p = 0.03]. RG mothers had greater reduction in cortisol (effect size: −0.08 ug/dL, 95% CI −0.15, −0.01; p = 0.03) and better maternal verbal learning score (effect size: 1.1 words, 95% CI 0.04, 2.1; p = 0.04) than CG mothers, but did not differ in stress scores. A simple relaxation intervention during breastfeeding could be beneficial in promoting growth of late preterm and early term infants. Further investigation of other potential biological and behavioral mediators is warranted.

Type: Article
Title: A breastfeeding relaxation intervention promotes growth in late preterm and early term infants: results from a randomized controlled trial
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/nu14235041
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14235041
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: preterm; breastfeeding; maternal stress; growth; parent-offspring signaling; late preterm; early term; breast milk composition; relaxation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Biology and Cancer Dept
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10159972
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