XL19: Marsha Walker: Stemming the Tide of Supplementation

Price US20.00

Marsha Walker

Early supplementation of the breastfed infant with infant formula has significant effects on the recipient infant’s gut flora, can provoke sensitivity and allergy to cow’s milk protein and has been identified as an environmental triggering event in the development of diabetes in susceptible families.

In a recent survey in the United States conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24% of hospitals supplemented more than 50% of their breastfed infants. Supplementation should be undertaken with specific therapeutic goals in mind. However, the vast majority of supplementation in the hospital is done by maternal request based on infant behavior, cultural influences, or due to clinicians’ use of formula to solve breastfeeding problems. Formula supplementation is generally associated with a shorter duration of breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge is a vanishing entity.

This presentation will explore reasons for supplementation, look at true medical indications for supplementation, discuss what to supplement, when to supplement, how to deliver the supplement, how much supplement to give, and how to stem the flow of supplements in the hospital. Some hospitals have successfully helped staff reduce inappropriate supplementation by placing infant formula in a medication distribution system such as Pyxix. Others require infant formula to be logged out to help identify usage and where additional staff education and skill areas need improvement.

Marsha Walker
Supplementation of the breastfed infant has been steadily increasing over the years, reducing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding and increasing the likelihood of premature weaning. This presentation explores the reasons for necessary and unnecessary supplementation, as well as when, why and how to supplement if necessary.
1 L CERPs / 1 Lactation Specific Hours
Access period:
One week
Lecture recorded:
Updated 2013
Marsha is a registered nurse and international board certified lactation consultant. She maintained a large clinical practice at a major HMO in Massachusetts, is a published author and an international speaker. Consulting with hospitals, providing in-service presentations, speaking at conferences and workshops and advocating for breastfeeding at the state and federal levels occupy her professional time. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, Baby Friendly USA, Best for Babes Foundation, and the US Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA). She is a past president of the International Lactation Consultant Association and the Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy.