Comparison of continuous versus intermittent sucking in very-low-birth-weight infants.

S. Y. Shiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of continuous and intermittent sucking on breathing and sucking during oral feedings in very-low-birth-weight infants. DESIGN: A quasi-experimental, within-subjects design with random assignment. Infants were observed twice in 1 day, once with a nasogastric tube and once without, in random order. SETTING: A Midwestern university-affiliated tertiary neonatal medical center. PARTICIPANTS: Eighteen very-low-birth-weight infants without severe neurologic problems or physical anomalies. On the day of the study, postnatal days were 17-82 days (M = 47.7, SD = +/- 19.3). INTERVENTIONS: Continuous sucking and intermittent sucking periods. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Breathing parameters from prefeed to continuous sucking, and intermittent sucking to postfeed periods; and sucking parameters from continuous sucking to intermittent sucking were examined. RESULTS: Continuous sucking had more detrimental effects on infants' breathing (p < .05), with stronger sucking (p < .05) and more formula milk intake (p < .05) than intermittent sucking. Different patterns of change between continuous sucking and intermittent sucking indicated that continuous sucking affected breathing, oxygenation, and sucking more than did intermittent sucking. CONCLUSIONS: Nurses who feed very-low-birth-weight infants should learn to observe different sucking periods and breathing pauses during continuous sucking periods, particularly during the 1st minute of bottle feeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN / NAACOG
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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