Parents' perceptions of eating skills of pre-term vs full-term infants from birth to 3 years.

International journal of speech-language pathology

PubMedID: 24007388

Jonsson M, Van Doorn J, van den Berg J. Parents' perceptions of eating skills of pre-term vs full-term infants from birth to 3 years. Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2013;.
Difficulties with feeding and eating are more common among pre-term infants compared with full-term infants. The primary objective of this study was to describe parents' perceptions of developmental eating patterns and occurrence of eating difficulties in a group of pre-term infants, compared with a control group. A parent questionnaire was administered for a study group (27 pre-term infants born between 28-33 weeks gestation) and a control group (29 full-term infants born between 38-41 weeks gestation). Parents of the pre-term children reported significantly more problems with early feeding, but only half of them reported that their infants received intervention to aid their feeding development during neonatal care. At 3 years of age the pre-term children weighed significantly less than the full-term children, but their parents were more satisfied with their eating habits and portion sizes than the control group parents. This finding may reflect differing parenting experiences between the two groups rather than an actual difference in eating skills. It suggests that parents of pre- term infants would benefit from practical guidance in supporting their premature infants in developing eating skills. Future studies using objective measures are recommended to verify the findings reported here.