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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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No long-term effect of oral stimulation on the intra-oral vacuum in healthy premature infants

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AIM: Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life, but the breastfeeding rate in premature infants is low. We examined the effect of oral stimulation on infant's strength of suction and the relation between this intra-oral vacuum and breastfeeding duration.

METHOD: Between 2016 and 2018, 211 infants in a Danish neonatal unit were randomised 1:1 and of these 108 to oral stimulation intervention and 103 to control. Suction was measured as peak vacuum at enrolment and a corrected age of 6 weeks. Breastfeeding duration was registered.

RESULTS: Vacuum increased from enrolment to a corrected age of 6 weeks in all infants, and no effect of oral stimulation intervention was demonstrated P = .08. Infants born ≤32 gestational weeks had lower vacuum compared with infants born after, 350 vs 398 mbar P < .001. For infants born after 32 gestational weeks, the odds ratio for exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months was 1.99 per 100 mbar increase in vacuum P = .01.

CONCLUSION: In our study, infant's intra-oral vacuum increased with age and was not affected by the oral stimulation intervention. For infants born after 32 gestational weeks, the exclusive breastfeeding rate was positively associated with a strong vacuum.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa paediatrica
Volume109
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2025-2032
Number of pages8
ISSN1651-2227
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • exclusive breastfeeding, intra-oral vacuum, oral stimulation, premature infants, strength of suction

ID: 59657203