Pediatric Abstract Update: Nonnutritive Sucking to Facilitate Oral Feeding in a Term Infant

The Use of Nonnutritive Sucking to Facilitate Oral Feeding in a Term Infant: A Single Case Study.

Harding C, et al.

J Pediatr Nurs. 2012 Feb 22.

This individual case study presents an evaluation of and reflection on the use of nonnutritive sucking as a technique to facilitate nutritive sucking with an infant with feeding difficulties. Nonnutritive sucking is used in a variable way with mainly premature or sick infants. However, the rationale underpinning use of such an approach is not clear. The infant participant in this study, Baby H, was born at 37 weeks. This case illustrates the use of nonnutritive sucking as an approach with supported rationales for promoting transition toward oral feeding with infants who have complex needs and who are term infants. The literature focuses on using nonnutritive sucking with premature infants who have no additional difficulties such as hypoxic neonatal encephalopathy, meconium aspiration, sepsis, or severe perinatal asphyxia. The intervention carried out with Baby H demonstrates that nonnutritive sucking can contribute toward the management of an infant’s feeding development. Baby H took 23 days to develop a sequential nonnutritive sucking pattern, but her ability to transfer this to nutritive sucking and safe feeding took the first 17 months of this infant’s life. This study is unique in that it explored the issues involved with a term infant who had complex needs that impacted on feeding development. It is important because many practitioners use nonnutritive sucking with infants who have complex needs.

source : Dept LCS, City University, Northampton Square, London, EC1V 0HB; The Royal Free Hospital, London NW3 2QG.


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