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Saving Premature Infants' Lives

The Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) program and Premature Infant Nutrition Care (PINC) clinic use a human milk-centered approach to optimize premature infant health and development.


Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) Program

The Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) program aims to improve premature infant growth and outcomes by optimizing nutritional care in hospital. Working together, the multidisciplinary team educates health care workers and parents about the importance of mothers' own milk for the ill or premature child, and team members collaborate to help families meet their human milk feeding goals.


Premature Infant Nutrition Clinic (PINC)

The Premature Infant Nutrition Clinic (PINC) grew out of SPIN in August of 2008 and was the first clinic of its kind in the US. PINC is a consultative service working with parents, infants, and primary care doctors to assist recently discharged parents and infants with complex medical and nutritional needs. During this critical time following hospital discharge PINC works with families in transitioning their infants to direct breastfeeding, helps to optimize mothers’ milk supplies, monitors growth and nutrition of infants while supporting the well-being of families.

Thus far, PINC has served over 1,300 infants and their families. In addition, PINC provides in-clinic teaching for pediatric residents who are planning to do primary care in pediatrics.


SPIN: Wee Nuzzle Project

Wee Nuzzle is a Quality Improvement project developed at UC San Diego to help support our preterm infants and their families.

Watch the Wee Nuzzle Project presentation video, download the parent handout, and view an educational poster.

SPIN: Five Steps to Breastfeeding NICU Preemies 

The five videos below show how premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) learn to breastfeed one step at a time with support from the SPIN program at UC San Diego Health. 

Step 1: Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin to skin care is the first important step in helping families hold their babies in the NICU. This early contact helps baby's regulation, and also helps the family start to take care of their own child. Important too are the breastmilk expression basics that are reinforced during this time.

Step 2: First Time at the Breast

Early breastfeeding practice can start before baby is ready to drink milk; it helps orient baby to the breast and helps the parent learn to position baby and start learning the basics of breastfeeding a small infant.

Step 3: Learning to Breastfeed

As baby matures and becomes ready to learn to drink milk at the breast, the parent and baby are shown how to facilitate effective nursing and watch baby for signs of fatigue or stress.

Step 4: Getting Better at Breastfeeding

Babies soon become more proficient at drinking milk at the breast. Parents may be shown several methods for assessing milk transfer as family starts the process to prepare for feeding baby at home.

Step 5: Getting Ready to Go Home

As discharge approaches, parents and baby are prepared with an oral feeding plan that can facilitate full breastfeeding, taking into account needs for fortification and growth tracking. Families benefit from a discharge breastfeeding plan in addition to a nutrition and growth plan; as well as close follow-up to succeed with feeding at the breast and maintaining milk supply.

Contact SPIN

Email us for more information about the SPIN program and resources available to health professionals, or call +1-858-249-5728.

Email SPIN

Contact PINC

Email us for more information about PINC and resources available to health professionals, or call +1-858-496-4800.

Email PINC