Defining feeding milestones in neonates helps improve quality of life

Dec 02, 2009

A recent study conducted by researchers and physicians at Nationwide Children's Hospital sheds new light on feeding challenges often faced by premature infants. Although the prevalence of this disorder is well recognized, the feeding milestones for infants have not been well described. The new study, published online in the Journal of Perinatology, defines the feeding milestones leading to these infants' transition to oral feeding based on their gestational age and explains other coexisting disorders affecting these skills.

"Feeding problems are an important area of neonatal morbidity that requires attention. It worries both parents and caregivers, and prolongs the length of hospitalization which escalates the cost of medical care," said the study's lead author, Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD, medical director of the Neonatal and Infant Feeding Disorders Program at Nationwide Children's . "The nature of feeding milestones, including the timeline for the acquisition of independent swallowing abilities, and the impact of co-morbidity factors influencing these skills has not been well explained until now."

According to the Nationwide Children's study, infants who were less than 28 weeks had significant feeding delays and stayed in the hospital for a prolonged period of time. Infants who were born after 28 weeks gestational age attained successful feeding milestones at a similar postmenstrual age. This study also found that airway and digestive morbidities significantly affected the oral feeding milestone.

"Knowledge of these facts paves the way for anticipatory guidance to care providers and helps in the development of higher quality feeding plans," continued Dr. Jadcherla, also an associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "Advances in neonatal intensive care have increased survival rate, and the use of resources has also increased astronomically to improve these infants' quality of life."

Data for the study, conducted in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin, was obtained by observing the feeding progress of nearly 200 infants. Collaborators tracked the age at which the acquired first feedings, maximum tube feedings and maximum oral feedings. Other resource usage measures included the total length of hospital stay, the duration an infant used a feeding tube and the total time they were on respiratory support.

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital (news : web)

Explore further: Effectiveness of campaigns addressing violence against women and girls examined

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Breastfeeding now safer for infants of HIV-infected mothers

Feb 04, 2008

An antiretroviral drug already in widespread use in the developing world to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their newborns during childbirth has also been found to substantially cut the risk of subsequent ...

Recommended for you

US seniors' health poorest, global survey shows

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey. The United States also ...

New survey of employers about the health insurance market

4 hours ago

A new nationally representative survey of employers—the largest purchasers of health care in the country— shows that most are unfamiliar with objective metrics of health plan quality information. The survey, conducted ...

Running really can keep you young, study says

7 hours ago

If you are an active senior who wants to stay younger, keep on running. A new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University shows that senior citizens who run several times ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.