Preterm infant feeding performance at term equivalent age differs from that of full-term infants

Roberta Pineda, Danielle Prince, Jenny Reynolds, Molly Grabill, Joan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To identify differences in feeding skill performance among preterm infants at term equivalent age compared with full-term infants. Study design: Ninety-two infants (44 preterm infants born ≤32 weeks gestation at term equivalent age and 48 full-term infants within 4 days of birth) had a standardized oral feeding assessment. Result: Preterm infants at term equivalent age had lower Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment scores (67.8 ± 13.6 compared with 82.2 ± 8.1; p < 0.001) and were more likely to have poor arousal (p = 0.04), poor tongue positioning (p = 0.04), suck–swallow–breathe discoordination (p < 0.001), inadequate sucking bursts (p = 0.01), tonal abnormalities (p < 0.001), discoordination of the jaw and tongue during sucking (p < 0.001), lack of positive engagement with the feeder and/or discomfort (p < 0.001), signs of aspiration (p < 0.001), difficulty regulating breathing (p < 0.001), and have an inability to maintain an appropriate state (p < 0.001), and complete the feeding (<0.001). Conclusion: A broad range of feeding-related difficulties appear to remain evident in preterm infants at term equivalent age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-654
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

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