Nutr Clin Pract. 2021 Mar 2. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10635. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: This study examines the hypothesis that infant-driven oral feeding leads to earlier achievement of oral feeding and reduces the length of hospital stay compared with provider-driven oral feeding in premature infants METHODS: We used a retrospective chart review to compare 2 groups of premature infants born at ≤35 weeks of gestation. The control group (CG) received the Provider-Driven Oral Feeding model and the intervention group (IG) received the Infant-Driven Oral Feeding model. Postmenstrual age (PMA) upon achieving full oral feeding, PMA at first oral feeding, discharge weight, and length of hospital stay were compared between the groups.
RESULTS: There are 208 infants in CG and 170 infants in IG. Infants in IG were born, on average, at a lower gestational age and birth weight than infants in CG. The median PMA at full oral feeding of 35 2/7 weeks (interquartile range [IQR], 34 2/7-36 2/7) for IG is significantly lower than the median of 35 5/7 weeks (IQR, 35-36 5/7) for CG, P-value < 0.001. Median PMA at first oral feeding is 34 1/7 weeks for both groups. Median PMA at discharge was 36 6/7 weeks for both groups. Median discharge weights of 2509 g (IQR, 2175-2964) for IG and 2459 g (IQR, 2204-2762) for CG are not statistically different.
CONCLUSION: Implementation of the Infant-Driven Feeding guideline led to earlier achievement of full oral feeding by 3 days on average while maintaining the same discharge weight but did not lead to earlier hospital discharge.