Feeding guidelines

Why we measure it - The earlier we can begin feeding infants, the sooner they gain weight and strength as well as learn important skills like sucking and swallowing.


What this means - Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has been able to feed premature infants earlier over time, which we hope will lower the average length of stay and increase survival rates.

About the data - This graph includes premature infants born weighing less than 1,500 grams (about 2 pounds) who were admitted to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin between 0-3 days of age. Patients with certain significant conditions were not included.

Related dimensions of care:

imgEffective imgTimely

How we provide the best care

  • Through the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin, we offer prenatal counseling to parents whose unborn baby is diagnosed with problems that may require surgery. This includes meetings with a perinatologist, a neonatologist and a pediatric surgeon. A tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit also is offered.
  • Mothers are able to deliver at the Froedtert & Medical College Birth Center, which is located inside Children's Hospital. One of our neonatology specialists attends the delivery. Our pediatric surgeons always are available and see the baby immediately upon arrival at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Research shows outcomes improve when the delivery room and operating room are close together. This also offers families the added convenience of having mother and baby hospitalized near one another.
  • Children's Hospital has five lactation consultants who are registered nurses and highly trained to help mothers and babies overcome feeding difficulties, even when infants have diagnoses that make breastfeeding difficult.
  • Neonates receive speech, physical and occupational therapy while in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to make sure they learn how to grab, hold, suck, swallow and eat - skills even the sickest babies need to develop normally.
  • We have a certified clinical dietitian who rounds regularly as part of our NICU medical team.