SPIN Program


The Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) Program is a differentiating Center of Excellence at UC San Diego Medical Center. ​This unique and comprehensive program aims to improve the nutritional status of very low birth weight infants by improving nutrition, and specifically by increasing the number of babies receiving human milk nutrition.

The program elements involve: 

  1. Early aggressive nutrition for the smallest premature infants
  2. Protocols to address early feeding
  3. Assessment of growth and nutritional needs
  4. Standardized fortification of mother's milk
  5. Improving milk safety and handling
  6. Helping mothers make adequate milk supply to allow for 100% human milk nutrition
  7. Improving the education of staff and parents in the area of nutrition
  8. Increasing the number of babies getting skin-to-skin care
  9. Improving the number of infants who successfully transition to breastfeeding
  10. Standardized discharge planning
  11. The long-term followup through our outpatient premature infant nutrition clinic (PINC)



History of the Program

Drs. Lisa Stellwagen, Jae Kim, and Yvonne Vaucher led the project development. ​The SPIN program has received funding from March of Dimes both for printing of educational materials for parents of NICU infants and for the development of a SPIN website. The broad scope of this program was also to include research and the development of a series of studies focused on investigating better methods of human milk fortification, optimize nutritional discharge, and unravel the effects of probiotics and early human milk feeding on intestinal health. To date, several of our investigators have received institutional, federal, and industry sponsored funding to support a range of research projects that have embodied the program's vision and goals.

The SPIN program team consists of four faculty physicians, three lactation nurses, three staff nurses, one nurse practitioner, two dieticians, and two occupational therapists. ​​
Jae H Kim, MD, PhD Medical Director of SPIN Program
Lisa Stellwagen, MD Lactation Director of SPIN Program​


For NICU staff resources (including feeding tables, lactation support letters, and more), visit here
For Parent Resources (including pumping log printouts), visit here
For our SPIN Mommas Program, visit here.

See one family with 24-week twins on their journey from skin-to-skin care through learning how to breastfeed as they get ready to go home - videos here​

For further details, see our SPIN Program website.

Contact Information

SPIN Program
200 West Arbor Dr., MC8774
San Diego, CA 92103-8774