Author(s): Paulina Fedko, Urszula Sioma-Markowska
Introduction. Among the many consequences of prematurity, an important role in convalescence and maturation of the newborn is being fed with the breast milk. Mothers with knowledge and awareness of the beneficial effects of breast milk on the healing proces, decise to long term pumping out breast milk for the baby. Aim. Identify the problems and needs related to lactation of women after preterm delivery and the type of specialized obstetric and psychological care that is consistent with the expectations of parturients. Material and methods. The test was based on a questionnaire among 245 women after premature birth associated on the Internet forums. The study included patients who gave birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy and fed naturally. The research tool was a proprietary questionnaire, which provided information on emerging problems and opinions on lactation after premature birth. In the collected material, the psychosomatic aspects of lactation after preterm birth were analyzed and the occurrence of the dependence was examined. The collected research was statistically analysed using the program R, version 3.6.3. Results. The fear of insufficient amount of pumped breast milk during lactation was expressed by 80.8% of respondents. Mood reduction was found in 49% of women. Lost of faith in dealing with the new situation was declared by 48.6% of respondents. The lower the week of termination of pregnancy, the greater the lack of faith in coping with the new situation, and significantly more often a marked decline in mood was observed. Nipple soreness, breast fullness and milk stasis were significantly less common in women who spent the period of hospitalization of a child in hospital. 93.3% of women declared the need for continuous lactation care, 71% declared the need for psychological care. Conclusions. Not enough simulated food in relation to the baby’s needs and soreness and cracked nipples resulting from the need for mechanical pumping are the most common lactation problems for women after preterm birth. Emotional problems are dominated by a significant lowering of mood, fear of not enough sucking milk and lack of faith in coping with the new situation. Mothers hospitalized with a prematurely born child experience less psychosomatic lactation problems. There is a strong need for psychological and lactation care by mothers of prematurely born children.