Breastfeeding duration for infants with phenylketonuria (PKU) is less than other full-term infants. However, no study has examined the challenges encountered by mothers' breastfeeding infants with PKU. In 75 mothers of a child with PKU, three categories of breastfeeding challenges were identified: common breastfeeding issues, breastfeeding and PKU, and no challenges. The common breastfeeding issues can be identified in the literature but for these mothers, the issues are heightened due to frequent phenylalanine (Phe) monitoring. Even so, many mothers adapt breastfeeding to maintain desired Phe levels. A few mothers had no issues and were the exception, not the norm.
Published in Journal of Pediatric Nursing (2015) 30, pp. 219–226