The Spatz 10-step system is now a national model for breastfeeding vulnerable babies

Mothers of critically ill infants may not receive necessary breastfeeding support, because their babies may be taken directly to a newborn intensive care unit or to surgery.

Diane Spatz

Diane Spatz, a professor of perinatal nursing at Penn Nursing, and director of the Lactation Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), offers an alternative model for health care providers that focuses on serving the needs of infants who are hospitalized and separated from their mothers. Titled the Spatz 10-Step and Breastfeeding Resource Nurse Model to Improve Human Milk and Breastfeeding Outcomes, the article, originally published in the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, has been adopted as a national model for nurses.

Many of these newborns are born preterm, or with birth defects or other critical conditions. Spatz drew on her own extensive clinical experience and on research findings from the National Institutes of Health to create the guidelines.

The 10-Step Model consists of informed decision, establishment and maintenance of milk supply, human milk management, oral care and feeding of human milk, skin-to-skin care, non-nutritive sucking, transition to breast, measuring milk transfer, preparation for discharge and appropriate follow-up. 

“Because nurses are the largest health profession globally and in the U.S.,” says Spatz, “nurses should play a critical role in providing evidence-based lactation care and support.” 

Read more at Penn Nursing News.