NYMC Faculty Publications

"Liquid Gold" Lactation Bundle and Breastfeeding Rates in Racially Diverse Mothers of Extremely Low-Birth-Weight Infants

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Breastfeeding Medicine

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Second Department

Health Behavior and Community Health


Background: In 2015, we implemented a comprehensive lactation bundle named Liquid Gold. Lactation bundles in the neonatal intensive care unit have not been well studied. Materials and Methods: This is an ongoing quality improvement breastfeeding project of racially diverse mothers and infants of extremely low birth weight (≤1,000 g). Four epochs were assessed; baseline (B; January 2012-July 2013), transition (T; human milk [HM]-derived fortifier; August 2013-December 2014), Liquid Gold (LG; full bundle, including staff education, colostrum oral care, kangaroo care, antenatal and postpartum counseling, provision of pasteurized donor HM, and breast pumps; January 2015-February 2016), and current (C; ongoing impact, Spanish-speaking lactation consultant, and HM cream; March 2016-April 2019). Results: Four hundred twenty-three mother-infant dyads were assessed. The rate of exclusive mother's own milk at discharge increased significantly in LG compared with previous epochs and was sustained over time. During LG, African American (AA) mothers had a significant surge of breastfeeding initiation (30% in B and 41% in T versus 78% in LG), but this was not sustained in C. AA mothers also experienced a significant decline in the use of exclusive formula feeding in the C epoch (68% in LG versus 46% in C). Hispanic and White mothers sustained their breastfeeding rates over time. Conclusions: Our Liquid Gold lactation bundle led to a significant increase in the provision of HM in the NICU and at discharge in the most vulnerable infants. AA mothers experienced the highest surge in breastfeeding initiation and greatest reduction in formula use. Breastfeeding goals and support need to be tailored to each mother with specific consideration for racial/ethnic background for optimal success.