Late Preterm Babies (born between 34 and 37 weeks gestation)

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine guideline notes that because of their immaturity, late preterm infants are less alert, have less stamina, and have greater difficulty with latch, suck and swallow than full-term infants. Therefore a focus on milk supply (with milk expression) may be needed, along with close monitoring of whether the infant is getting adequate nutrition at the breast. Preventative measures such as extended skin-to-skin, unlimited access to the breast, hand expression of colostrum within an hour of birth and then at three hourly intervals if any separation or feeding concern, and routine use of breast compressions are recommended. Babies may need to be woken for feeds to ensure at least 8 feeds in 24 hours. Feeding more frequently than 3 hourly is welcomed.


Thank you for visiting the Hospital Infant Feeding Network. This website is a repository of relevant knowledge and best practice resources for health professionals. To join the conversation, ask questions and share your experiences please join us on Facebook or Twitter.


We will be running Q&A sessions on various topics, which will be advertised on our social media sites. Please email if you have ideas or want to get more involved. We welcome health professionals passionate about supporting breastfeeding and lactation in the hospital setting to join our steering group, please get in contact if this is you!

You may have noticed that we use 'additive' language on our website to refer to lactation and human milk feeding. This means that we might refer to 'breastfeeding/chestfeeding'. Chestfeeding is a term that some non-binary people use to refer to feeding their child at the chest if the word breast is not congruent with their gender identity. Using additive language helps reduce a feeling of exclusion for non-binary and transgender people, without taking away from the importance of words like breastfeeding and mother. There is a much more detailed description of the additive approach here.

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