Quantitative assessment of nutritive sucking patterns in preterm infants

Academic Article


  • Objective: To assess patterns of nutritive sucking in very preterm infants ≤32 weeks of gestation. Study design: Very preterm infants who attained independent oral feeding were prospectively assessed with an instrumented feeding bottle that measures nutritive sucking. The primary outcome measure was nutritive sucking performance at independent oral feeding. Result: We assessed nutritive sucking patterns in 33 very preterm infants. We recorded 63 feeding sessions. The median number of sucks was 784 (IQR: 550–1053), the median sucking rate was 36/min (IQR: 27–55), and the median number of sucking bursts during the first 5 min of oral feeding was 14 (IQR: 12–16). Maximum sucking strength correlated with the number of sucks (r = 0.62; p < 0.01). No safety concerns were identified during the study. Conclusion: The quantitative analysis of nutritive sucking patterns with a newly developed instrumented bottle in stable, very preterm infants is safe and feasible. More research is needed to develop and refine the instrument further.
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    Author List

  • Salas AA; Meads C; Ganus S; Bhatia A; Taylor C; Chandler-Laney P; Imtiaz MH; Sazonov E
  • Volume

  • 146