Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Pediatric Neonatology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 January 2024) | Viewed by 33218

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Department of Midwifery, School of Health & Care Sciences, University of West Attica, 12243 Athens, Greece
Interests: domestic violence in pregnancy; breastfeeding; perinatal mental health
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure to invite you to collaborate to the special issue” Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges”. Nutrition is undoubtedly an expression of the culture of every people. Nutrition in infancy is a cornerstone, not only for the proper and healthy development of the child, but also for his health in adulthood. To date, much of the research on the long-term effects of infant nutrition has been given to breastfeeding, comparing formula feeding and evaluating the effects of exclusivity, time, and duration of feeding on different types of infant milk. The transition from breast milk to solid food is a defining moment, which affects the subsequent development of the child's nutritional variety, but also the quality of food. However, the method of weaning, the types of milk that will replace or follow breastfeeding, as well as the age of introduction of solid foods have not yet been adequately studied for their effects on later health. The main goal of this special issue of Children is to identify optimal feeding practices and their causal effects offered in short-term and long-term health. Research on infants from different backgrounds is the key to provide generalizable data that can be used to determine best feeding practices.

We welcome submissions related to different infant feeding, such as different types of formula milk, different food culture and their effects on human health.

Dr. Evangelia Antoniou
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • formula feeding
  • specific types of formula
  • special nutritional needs
  • methods of weaning

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 942 KiB  
Article
The Kumagai Method Utilizing the Pigeon Bottle Feeder with a Long Nipple: A Descriptive Study for the Development of Feeding Techniques for Children with Cleft Lip and/or Palate
by Shingo Ueki, Yukari Kumagai, Yumi Hirai, Eri Nagatomo, Shoko Miyauchi, Takuro Inoue, Qi An and Junko Miyata
Children 2024, 11(3), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11030365 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1050
Abstract
We aimed to identify the steps involved in the Kumagai method—an experimental nursing procedure to feed children with cleft lip and/or palate, using a feeder with a long nipple. We conducted a descriptive study, enrolling five specialist nurses who have mastered the Kumagai [...] Read more.
We aimed to identify the steps involved in the Kumagai method—an experimental nursing procedure to feed children with cleft lip and/or palate, using a feeder with a long nipple. We conducted a descriptive study, enrolling five specialist nurses who have mastered the Kumagai method. Their approaches were examined using structured interviews. Moreover, the participants were asked to perform the sequence of actions involved in this method while describing each step. Therefore, we were able to explore the Kumagai method in depth and step-by-step, including the following aspects: correct infant posture; correct feeding bottle holding position; nipple insertion into the child’s mouth; and feeding process initiation, maintenance, and termination. Each step comprises several clinically relevant aspects aimed at encouraging the infant to suck with a closed mouth and stimulating chokubo-zui, i.e., simulation of the natural tongue movement during breastfeeding in children without a cleft palate. In conclusion, when performed correctly, the Kumagai method improves feeding efficiency in children with cleft lip and/or palate. Feeders with long nipples are rarely used in clinical practice; the Kumagai method might popularize their use, thereby improving the management of feeding practices for children with cleft lip and/or palate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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11 pages, 1139 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of a Spoke-Based Double-Lumen Pediatric Gastrostomy Tube
by Mihika Aedla, Charlotte J. Cheng, Anson Y. Zhou, Siya Zhang, Jocelyn Hsu, Katherine Hu, Jason C. Qian, Kevin Van de Sompel, Anthony Ho, Karun V. Sharma and Elizabeth A. Logsdon
Children 2024, 11(2), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020263 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are the gold standard for feeding assistance for children with feeding dysfunction. Current G-tubes pose complications that interrupt the delivery of feed, including tube displacement and difficulty of at-home use. This study details an alternative, spoke-based, double-lumen G-tube design and [...] Read more.
Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are the gold standard for feeding assistance for children with feeding dysfunction. Current G-tubes pose complications that interrupt the delivery of feed, including tube displacement and difficulty of at-home use. This study details an alternative, spoke-based, double-lumen G-tube design and preliminary validation of its function and usability. Pull force testing was performed on spoke G-tube models across three sizes and two classifications (hard/soft). Preliminary models were evaluated against market standards. Though the pull force of the spoke model was found to be lower than that of both market standards, hard modifications to the spoke model improved retentive force. Ease of use was tested amongst users unfamiliar with G-tube placement. The spoke design required 12.3 ± 4.7 s to deploy, less than half the time required for market standards. However, balloon G-tubes were still perceived to be easiest to use by 70% of participants, with indications that a spoke design may be easier to use if sized similarly to current G-tubes, with auxiliary improvements to factors such as grip. While there is a need for improvements in the material properties and manufacturing of the proposed design, this study provides early validation of the potential to address complications of existing G-tubes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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12 pages, 760 KiB  
Article
The Role of Skin-to-Skin Contact and Breastfeeding in the First Hour Post Delivery in Reducing Excessive Weight Loss
by Valentina Jurgelėnė, Vilma Kuzmickienė and Dalia Stonienė
Children 2024, 11(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020232 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Background and aims: An excessive weight loss (EWL) of >10% after birth is associated with serious health outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine factors that can reduce weight loss in full-term, exclusively breastfed infants after birth. Methods: This is a [...] Read more.
Background and aims: An excessive weight loss (EWL) of >10% after birth is associated with serious health outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine factors that can reduce weight loss in full-term, exclusively breastfed infants after birth. Methods: This is a retrospective, observational, single-center study. We included 642 healthy, full-term, exclusively breastfed neonates born in 2019 in a baby-friendly hospital, and their healthy mothers. The exclusion criteria were as follows: supplementation with formula, multiple pregnancies, and neonates or mothers with health issues. Results: The mean percentage of neonatal weight loss after 24 h of life was 5.13%, and that after 48 h was 6.34%. Neonates delivered via a caesarean section lost more weight after 24 and 48 h of life than those delivered via vaginal delivery (p < 0.01). There is a noticeable pattern that neonates tend to lose more weight if they do not get skin-to-skin contact (SSC) and breastfeeding within the first hour after birth (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Neonates born via a CS tend to lose more weight after 24 and 48 h of life. Immediate SSC and breastfeeding in the first hour after delivery may decrease the excessive weight loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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20 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
Complementary Feeding Methods, Feeding Problems, Food Neophobia, and Picky Eating among Polish Children
by Agnieszka Białek-Dratwa and Oskar Kowalski
Children 2024, 11(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11010045 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Proper nutrition during the first period of life is primarily related to meeting energy needs and providing essential nutrients that ensure the infant’s normal physical and psychomotor development. Improper nutrition during this period, inadequate amounts of nutrients, inappropriate timing and manner of introduction [...] Read more.
Proper nutrition during the first period of life is primarily related to meeting energy needs and providing essential nutrients that ensure the infant’s normal physical and psychomotor development. Improper nutrition during this period, inadequate amounts of nutrients, inappropriate timing and manner of introduction of individual foods, can permanently alter metabolism and the course of physiological processes, increasing the risk of diseases such as obesity, allergic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. This study aimed to verify how the method of complementary feeding influences the occurrence of food neophobia between 2 and 7 years of age, as well as to assess the different nutritional aspects resulting from the process of starting feeding other than breast milk and milk formula. In this study, 490 mothers and their children aged 2–7 years participated. The research tool was a questionnaire consisting of a child’s dietary assessment and standardized questionnaires assessing food neophobia among children: Food Neophobia Scale for Children (FNSC) and the Montreal Children’s Hospital-Pediatric Feeding (MCH-FS). In the study group of children, 238 (48.57%) had no Baby-Led Weaning Method (no BLW) method used during complementary feeding (CF), and 252 (51.42%) children used Baby-Led Weaning Method (BLW). According to the FNSC questionnaire, a high risk of food neophobia was found in 32.65% of the children studied and a medium risk in 39.80%. The medium risk of feeding problem occured in 11.63% of children, the high risk in 6.73% of children, and the highest risk in 6.94% (MCH-FS). No statistically significant differences were observed between the BLW and NoBLW groups. High risk of food neophobia occured in 1/3 of the children studied, but there was no relationship in the study group between the mode of CF (BLW/NoBLW) and the risk of food neophobia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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9 pages, 421 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Slow Infusion Intermittent Feeding versus Gravity Feeding in Preterm Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Funda Yavanoglu Atay, Ozlem Bozkurt, Suzan Sahin, Duygu Bidev, Fatma Nur Sari and Nurdan Uras
Children 2023, 10(8), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081389 - 15 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1366
Abstract
Background: The transition to full enteral feeding is important for ensuring adequate growth in preterm infants. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of two different intermittent feeding methods on the transition to full enteral feeding in preterm infants. [...] Read more.
Background: The transition to full enteral feeding is important for ensuring adequate growth in preterm infants. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of two different intermittent feeding methods on the transition to full enteral feeding in preterm infants. Study design: A prospective, randomized controlled study was conducted in a neonatology and perinatology center. Subjects: Preterm infants with a gestational age between 24 + 0/7 and 31 + 6/7 were included in this study. They were divided into two groups: the SIF (slow infusion feeding) group and the IBF (intermittent bolus feeding) group. In the SIF group, feed volumes were administered over one hour using an infusion pump through an orogastric tube, with feeding occurring every three hours. The IBF group received enteral feeding using a gravity-based technique with a syringe through an orogastric tube, completed within 10 to 30 min. Outcome measures: The primary outcome was the achievement of full enteral feeding and the occurrence of feeding intolerance. Results: A total of 103 infants were enrolled in the study (50 in SIF and 53 in IBF). The time to achieve full enteral feeding did not differ significantly between the two groups (p = 0.20). The SIF group had significantly fewer occurrences in which gastric residual volume exceeded 50% (p = 0.01). Moreover, the SIF group had a significantly shorter duration of non-per-oral (NPO) status than the IBF group (p = 0.03). Conclusions: It is our contention that the use of the SIF method as an alternative feeding method is appropriate for infants with feeding intolerance and those at high risk of feeding intolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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12 pages, 432 KiB  
Article
Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding Practices among Caregivers at Seshego Zone 4 Clinic in Limpopo Province, South Africa
by M. H. Mphasha, M. S. Makwela, N. Muleka, B. Maanaso and M. M. Phoku
Children 2023, 10(6), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10060986 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2333
Abstract
Breastfeeding and complementary feeding are key components of infant and young child feeding that ensure healthy growth, survival, and development. Initiating breastfeeding within an hour after delivery, exclusively breastfeeding for six months, and introducing complementary feeding at six months while continuing breastfeeding up [...] Read more.
Breastfeeding and complementary feeding are key components of infant and young child feeding that ensure healthy growth, survival, and development. Initiating breastfeeding within an hour after delivery, exclusively breastfeeding for six months, and introducing complementary feeding at six months while continuing breastfeeding up to 24 months or beyond, helps in the prevention of malnutrition, which is a public health problem. The aim of this study was to determine breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices among caregivers of children under 24 months in Seshego, Limpopo Province. A quantitative and cross-sectional design was applied to collect data from 86 caregivers using convenience sampling. A structured questionnaire was utilised to gather data and analysed through statistical software, using descriptive and inferential statistics. Chi-square tests were used to determine associations at a 95% confidence interval where a p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. The findings show that 55% of participants had good breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. Moreover, 94.2% of participants breastfeed within an hour after delivery at a healthcare facility. Only 43.6% of children were exclusively breastfed. Most participants (52.3%) gave children food before six months and 45.1% introduced complementary feeding at the appropriate age. Also, 69.7% of children across all age groups were not given infant formula. No statistical association was observed between feeding practices and sociodemographic. Breastfeeding was initiated within an hour after delivery at the healthcare facilities, however, post discharge exclusive breastfeeding maintenance remains a challenge. Few infants were introduced to complementary feeding at the appropriate age. A post discharge intervention to practice exclusive breastfeeding, continued breastfeeding, and introduction of appropriate complementary feeding is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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8 pages, 830 KiB  
Article
Impact of Donor Human Milk in an Urban NICU Population
by Ahreen Allana, Kahmun Lo, Myra Batool and Ivan Hand
Children 2022, 9(11), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9111639 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2119
Abstract
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of donor human milk in infants when mother’s own milk is not available. Our objective was to analyze whether the use of donor human milk in preterm, very-low-birth-weight (VLBW, <1500 g) infants affected the rates [...] Read more.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of donor human milk in infants when mother’s own milk is not available. Our objective was to analyze whether the use of donor human milk in preterm, very-low-birth-weight (VLBW, <1500 g) infants affected the rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, duration of parenteral nutrition (PN), growth, culture-positive sepsis, length of hospital stay, and mortality in an urban NICU population with low exclusive breast-feeding rates. A retrospective cohort study was conducted comparing two 2-year epochs of VLBW neonates before and after the introduction of donor breast milk in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). With the introduction of donor human milk, there was a significant reduction in the rate of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) (5% vs. 13%; p = 0.04) and less severe NEC as defined by Stage III based on the Modified Bell Staging Criteria (10% to 3%; p = 0.04). In the donor milk era, there was earlier initiation of enteral feeding (2.69 days vs. 3.84; p = 0.006) and a more rapid return to birthweight (9.5 days. 10.9 days; p = 0.006). In this study, a change in practice to the use of donor breast milk in a population with low rates of human milk provision was associated with earlier initiation of enteral feeding, faster return to birth weight, and a reduced incidence of NEC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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Review

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11 pages, 283 KiB  
Review
The Effect of Breastfeeding on Food Allergies in Newborns and Infants
by Zoi Koukou, Eleftheria Papadopoulou, Eleftherios Panteris, Styliani Papadopoulou, Anna Skordou, Maria Karamaliki and Elisavet Diamanti
Children 2023, 10(6), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10061046 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3843
Abstract
Breastfeeding is the preferred method of infant feeding and its establishment is one of the primary goals for the infant. Allergic diseases are common in childhood, with increased morbidity. Food allergies are also associated with a strong negative impact on health-related quality of [...] Read more.
Breastfeeding is the preferred method of infant feeding and its establishment is one of the primary goals for the infant. Allergic diseases are common in childhood, with increased morbidity. Food allergies are also associated with a strong negative impact on health-related quality of life and is a major public health problem. In addition, maternal exclusion of common allergens during pregnancy and/or lactation suggests that supplementation with regular cow’s milk formula during the first week of life should be avoided. Breast milk contains many active immune factors, such as cytokines, inflammatory mediators, signaling molecules and soluble receptors, which may also reduce the risk of allergic disease. The prophylactic effects of breastfeeding have been the subject of many studies, some with weak evidence. In this narrative review, we aim to provide an up-to-date account of the effects of prophylactic breastfeeding on food allergy and other common allergies in infants and children up to 5 years of age. Colostrum in particular has been shown to be prophylactic against food allergy. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that the relationship between duration of breastfeeding and incidence of food allergy in early childhood is unclear. The protective role of breastfeeding has a positive effect on allergy prevention, which is opposed by the early introduction of solid foods, but larger studies are needed to confirm the evidence. There is evidence that breastfeeding is effective in providing partial protection to infants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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21 pages, 457 KiB  
Review
Are Complementary Feeding Practices Aligned with Current Recommendations? A Narrative Review
by Audrey Nantel and Véronique Gingras
Children 2023, 10(5), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10050794 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4042
Abstract
The complementary feeding introduction period (introduction of solid foods alongside breastmilk or formula) is defining in children’s health; however, it appears that many parents do not follow complementary feeding guidelines. Our aim was to describe current parental feeding practices during complementary feeding in [...] Read more.
The complementary feeding introduction period (introduction of solid foods alongside breastmilk or formula) is defining in children’s health; however, it appears that many parents do not follow complementary feeding guidelines. Our aim was to describe current parental feeding practices during complementary feeding in relation to current recommendations and explore determinants of adherence to guidelines. We included any relevant studies published within the last decade in French or English and summarized findings by recommendation category. The timing of complementary food introduction varied widely across and within continents (earlier in North America and often delayed in Asia). The introduction of allergenic foods tended to be delayed globally. Although some parents now begin complementary feeding with solid foods (i.e., baby-led weaning), delayed introduction of lumpy textures was still prevalent in the United States and in Europe. The consumption of iron-rich foods was predominantly low in Africa. Added sugars were globally introduced early, especially in America. Evidence for the prevalence of responsive feeding practices among parents is unclear due to the small number of studies. Determinants of complementary feeding practices included parental characteristics, such as age, education, socio-economic status, and race/ethnicity. Interventions aiming to increase adherence to complementary feeding guidelines must account for parental characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
14 pages, 718 KiB  
Review
Effectiveness of Non-Pharmacological Methods, Such as Breastfeeding, to Mitigate Pain in NICU Infants
by Zoi Koukou, Anatoli Theodoridou, Eleftheria Taousani, Angeliki Antonakou, Eleftherios Panteris, Styliani-Stella Papadopoulou, Anna Skordou and Stavros Sifakis
Children 2022, 9(10), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9101568 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7375
Abstract
Neonates do experience pain and its management is necessary in order to prevent long-term, as well as, short-term effects. The most common source of pain in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is caused by medically invasive procedures. NICU patients have to endure [...] Read more.
Neonates do experience pain and its management is necessary in order to prevent long-term, as well as, short-term effects. The most common source of pain in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is caused by medically invasive procedures. NICU patients have to endure trauma, medical adhesive related skin injuries, heel lance, venipuncture and intramuscular injection as well as nasogastric catheterization besides surgery. A cornerstone in pain assessment is the use of scales such as COMFORT, PIPP-R, NIPS and N-PASS. This narrative review provides an up to date account of neonate pain management used in NICUs worldwide focusing on non-pharmacological methods. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have well established adverse side effects and opioids are addictive thus pharmacological methods should be avoided if possible at least for mild pain management. Non-pharmacological interventions, particularly breastfeeding and non-nutritive sucking as primary strategies for pain management in neonates are useful strategies to consider. The best non-pharmacological methods are breastfeeding followed by non-nutritive sucking coupled with sucrose sucking. Regrettably most parents used only physical methods and should be trained and involved for best results. Further research in NICU is essential as the developmental knowledge changes and neonate physiology is further uncovered together with its connection to pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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Other

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9 pages, 454 KiB  
Brief Report
Sex-Specific Differences in Nutrient Intake in Late Preterm Infants
by Pradeep Alur, Sumana Ramarao, Addie Hitt, Simmy Vig, Radha Alur and Naveed Hussain
Children 2024, 11(3), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11030265 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Challenging the assumption of uniform nutritional needs in preterm feeding, this study identifies crucial sex-specific disparities in formula milk intake and growth among late preterm infants. Premature infants have difficulty regulating their oral intake during feeds, which is why clinicians prescribe feeding volume, [...] Read more.
Challenging the assumption of uniform nutritional needs in preterm feeding, this study identifies crucial sex-specific disparities in formula milk intake and growth among late preterm infants. Premature infants have difficulty regulating their oral intake during feeds, which is why clinicians prescribe feeding volume, calories, and protein via the nasogastric route. However, premature male and female infants have different body compositions at birth, and, subsequently, there is no evidence to suggest that male and female preterm infants differ in their nutritional consumption once they begin feeding ad libitum. This study investigates whether there are any differences in the volume and nutrient intake between the sexes when fed formula ad libitum. Methods: The study involved a retrospective analysis of preterm infants admitted to the NICU and evaluated between 34 0/7 and 36 6/7 weeks of corrected gestation. Late preterm infants appropriate for gestational age who were spontaneously fed formula milk ad-lib and free of any respiratory support for at least two days were included. The study excluded infants with short gut syndrome, severe chromosomal anomalies, or congenital heart conditions. We included 85 male and 85 female infants in this study. The data collected included sex, gestational age, birth weight, anthropometric data at birth, maternal data, nutritional intake, and neonatal morbidity. Results: This study found that female infants consumed more volume, protein, and calories than male infants. The mean formula intake in female and male infants was 145.5 ± 20.8 mL/kg/d and 135.3 ± 19.3 mL/kg/d, respectively, with p = 0.002. However, ad-lib feeding duration was not different between the sexes. Growth velocity was also higher in female infants. Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate differences in formula milk intake among late preterm infants fed ad libitum. Additional research is needed to confirm our findings and understand sex-specific differences in neonatal nutrition in extremely early preterm infants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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13 pages, 752 KiB  
Systematic Review
What Are the Implications of COVID-19 on Breastfeeding? A Synthesis of Qualitative Evidence Studies
by Evangelia Antoniou, Maria Tzitiridou-Chatzopoulou, Chrysa Voyatzaki, Maria Iliadou, Panagiotis Eskitzis, Maria Dagla, Ermioni Palaska and Eirini Orovou
Children 2023, 10(7), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071178 - 7 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding until six months of life is the ideal way to feed infants. However, there is a significant number of infants who have never breastfed, despite the beneficial properties of breastfeeding. On the other hand, the coronavirus outbreak had significant effects [...] Read more.
Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding until six months of life is the ideal way to feed infants. However, there is a significant number of infants who have never breastfed, despite the beneficial properties of breastfeeding. On the other hand, the coronavirus outbreak had significant effects on people’s health, both mentally and physically, and has also impacted the breastfeeding process. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the implication of COVID-19 on breastfeeding through qualitative data from databases. Methods: We searched online databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, PsycINFO) for studies published from 2019 to 2023. ‘Out of the 2598 papers we found, only 12 were included in the review’. More specifically, from the 1558 papers remaining from the title and abstract evaluation as well as duplicates, a further 1546 papers belonging to our exclusion criteria were removed (all types of reviews, letters to editors, and quantitative articles). Results: Our results covered three subjects: breastfeeding support during the pandemic, effects of social containment measures on breastfeeding, and additional outcomes regarding breastfeeding. Most voices found the effects of the pandemic on breastfeeding beneficial, with reduced professional support and a high degree of support from the environment. Additional negative factors were observed, as well as consequences of the pandemic in women’s lives. Conclusions: COVID-19 was the occasion to understand the power of the supportive environment of the woman, especially the partner, in establishing and maintaining breastfeeding. Therefore, policy makers and health professionals, especially midwives, should implement family-centered breastfeeding strategies that are more supportive of the partner role, providing problem counseling when and where deemed necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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11 pages, 403 KiB  
Systematic Review
Correlation between Pacifier Use in Preterm Neonates and Breastfeeding in Infancy: A Systematic Review
by Eirini Orovou, Maria Tzitiridou-Chatzopoulou, Maria Dagla, Panagiotis Eskitzis, Ermioni Palaska, Maria Iliadou, Georgios Iatrakis and Evangelia Antoniou
Children 2022, 9(10), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9101585 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3051
Abstract
Background: Breastfeeding is very important for the proper nutrition and growth of the child, as well as, the health of the mother. To start breastfeeding, the neonate must have extensive oral capacities for sucking functions but, premature neonates may not have the muscle [...] Read more.
Background: Breastfeeding is very important for the proper nutrition and growth of the child, as well as, the health of the mother. To start breastfeeding, the neonate must have extensive oral capacities for sucking functions but, premature neonates may not have the muscle strength needed to suck successfully. However, the non-nutritive sucking achieved by using a pacifier, has been identified by previous research as a factor associated with shorter duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding. This study aims to perform a systematic review to investigate the relationship between pacifier use in preterm neonates and breastfeeding in infancy. Methods: We included prospective studies, as well as randomized controlled studies that evaluated the association between pacifier use by preterm neonates and of breastfeeding in infancy. Ten research articles from PubMed/Medline, Google Scholar and Crossref were included in the review from a total of 1455 articles. The results differ depending on the type of study.Most prospective studies have shown a negative correlation between pacifier use and breastfeeding, while the randomized controlled studies found a positive correlation. Conclusions: Pacifier use in preterm infants helps transition from tube to oral feeding, breastfeeding, faster weight gain and earlier discharge from the NICU. However, the relationship between pacifiers and breastfeeding is more complicated, as it appears to be influenced by additional risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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