Context: Having premature and very low birth weight infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), is disempowering for mothers as they lost autonomy over their behavior and lost autonomy over beginning to establish a close relationship with their neonates. Mothers highly value Breastfeeding/breast milk feeding as it is the ‘one thing that only the mother can do to protect and improve their neonates' health.
Aim: Evaluate the effect of colostrum feeding intervention on the clinical and nutritional outcomes of very low birth weight infant.
Methods: A quasi-experimental research design utilized to achieve the aim of this study. A convenient sample of 80 mothers of very low birth weight infants subjected to colostrum feeding intervention program. Their 80 very low birth weight infants (divided randomly into two groups) study and control groups to examine the effect of the colostrum feeding intervention on their clinical and nutritional outcomes versus artificial milk feeding. Three research tools used that were structured interview questionnaire, mothers’ practice observation checklist, and very low birth weight clinical and Nutritional outcomes’ record.
Results: the study reveals a significant improvement of mother knowledge and practices after colostrum feeding intervention at post and follow up compared to their pre-intervention level. The study also revealed a statistically significant difference in all clinical and nutritional outcomes between infants of the study and control groups.
Conclusion: A significant improvement in mothers’ knowledge and practice regarding colostrum feeding intervention. The study group of very low birth weight infants had a rapid growth rate, better nutritional outcomes, lesser complications compared with the control group. The study recommended tailored intervention programs for mother that expecting a very low birth weight infant. Besides, policies for training midwives at maternity centers and hospitals early to initiate colostrum feeding. Further research with larger sample size recommended to determine if early colostrum administration can affect positively on very low birth weight infants outcomes.
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