Audit of feeding practices in the neonatal wards at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg academic hospital

Sepeng, Letlhogonolo
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Background Breastfeeding is the preferred choice of feeding babies. The Baby-Friendly-Hospital-Initiative (BFHI) is a ten step plan to establishing successful breastfeeding and is adopted by public sector hospitals in Gauteng. Despite this, rates of breastfeeding in sick and preterm babies remain low. Aim To determine feeding practices for babies discharged from the neonatal wards of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH). Methodology A retrospective review of the CMJAH neonatal database on the type of milk feed for babies discharged between 01/01/2013- 30/04/2013. Results There were 404 babies in the study, 98(24%) were very-low-birth weight, 120(29.7%) were low birth weight and 186(46%) were bigger babies. Only 94(23.2%) babies were discharged on exclusive breast milk feeds, 232(57.4%) babies were discharged on exclusive formula milk feeds and 78(19.3%) discharged on mixed feeds. Significant variables associated with feeding choices were HIV exposure, perinatal asphyxia and the need for resuscitation at birth. Conclusion Despite the fact that the CMJAH is involved in the BFHI, rates of exclusive breastfeeding remain low. This needs to be urgently addressed with employment of lactation consultants and improved counselling of mothers exposed to HIV, on the importance and benefits of breastfeeding.
This research report is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. June 2015 (amended September 2015)