Nasogastric tube feeding in preterm infants

Breastfeeding, which is enabled by the sucking reflex appearing at about 32 gestational weeks, provides all the relevant nutritive substances and protects the child during the neonatal period. Breastfeeding is the process of drinking fluid into the mouth by sucking power produced by moving the jowl, lips and tongue. Swallowing is the function of dislocating food and fluid through the mouth to the oesophagus and the stomach with a certain rhythm and speed. When the sucking reflex is absent in prematures, it is important to provide enteral nutrition, mostly by a nasogastric tube. Although it is impossible to avoid nasogastric tube feeding, it is necessary to apply all therapeutic possibilities to shorten the duration of tube use and to prevent the negative effects of this feeding procedure. Programs of tactile stimulation of the perioral structures and non-feeding sucking have a good effect on learning oral feeding, shorter tube feeding time and shorter hospitalization.

Category: Clinical observations - professional paper
Volume: Vol. 55, No 1, january - march 2011
Authors: Z. Kolundžić, A. Šimić Klarić, V. Drkulec, M. Tomić Rajić, H. Tesari
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