Do you know the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect oral feeding?

In a December 2019 article, Fucile et al explored the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting oral feeding in preterm infants.  Safe and successful oral feeding requires more than just suck, swallow, and breathe coordination.  As discussed by the authors, intrinsic factors include the function and coordination of the musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and behavioral systems.  And all of these systems depend on the degree of maturity of the neurologic system with intact sensory and motor neural connections.  Extrinsic factors include the physical surroundings, the NICU environment, sleep, NICU feeding policies, attitudes of health care practitioners, and feeding equipment such as nipple shields and vacuum-free bottles. By understanding all of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect feeding, Fucile and colleagues review how health care practitioners can build an infant-driven model for feeding success in their NICU.

Does your unit integrate each internal and external factor into oral feeding? Do you want make feeding safer and more successful in your unit, but you’re not sure where to start?  Creative Therapy Consultants can help!  We can customize a program specifically to fit your unit’s oral feeding needs.  Learn more about our infant-driven customized education here.

Fucile, S., Caulfield, M., Geleynse, S. (2019) Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants: A Conceptual Model for Health Care Practitioners. Neonatal Network. 38 (6), 348-356.