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Revista CEFAC

On-line version ISSN 1982-0216


RUEDELL, Aneline Maria et al. Assessing oral skills of preterm infants. Rev. CEFAC [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.3, pp.407-413.  Epub Sep 08, 2010. ISSN 1982-0216.

PURPOSE: to evaluate the oral skills of preterm infants at 4 and 6 months of corrected age. METHODS: 14 preterm infants born between 29 and 35 weeks of gestational age were evaluated during their follow-up at the University Hospital of Santa Maria, state of Rio Grande do Sul. Assessment at 4 and 6 months of corrected age included movements of the tongue, lips and jaw during bottle or breastfeeding, and at 6 months, we also assessed their ability to remove the pasty food from the spoon, the use of the cup, and with munching biscuits. All assessments were recorded and analyzed by 3 speech therapists. The parents answered a questionnaire on the dietary habits of their children. RESULTS: at 4 and 6 months of corrected age an appropriate lip sealing was observed in 71.4% and 85.7% of the infants, respectively. At 6 months, in 78.6% of them the upper lip removed efficiently the pasty food from the spoon, 42.9% were able to absorb the liquid from the cup and 57.1% had difficulties to do this well. CONCLUSION: in this study, infants born preterm at 4 and 6 months of corrected age showed the development of oral skills in a progressive sequence, although they showed a compromised lip sealing during sucking and difficulties in using spoon and cup for their feeding.

Keywords : Child; Feeding Methods; Infant, Premature.

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