Acta Pediátrica Costarricense
Print version ISSN 1409-0090
CAMPOS MONTERO, Zulma I. Feeding problems in infants: First part: basic concepts. Acta pediátr. costarric [online]. 2009, vol.21, n.1, pp. 18-25. ISSN 1409-0090.
Since the prenatal stage, due to neuro-physiologic organization the baby is prepared to feed immediately after birth. Close to full term, the baby swallows almost one liter of amniotic fluid per day. Nutritive sucking is established at 34-36 weeks when the highest point of synaptogenesis occurs, and the sucking rhythm is established at 32 weeks. Feeding matures when encephalization occurs and it allows the baby to manage the process voluntarily. It is necessary to have coordination, muscular tone, the right posture and proper social support to achieve it. Especially in the first years of life the presence of two persons is essential in the feeding process, if any of the elements lacks the required abilities, feeding problems can appear. The best way to evaluate the feeding process is throughout clinic history, physical examination and by closely observing the baby during the feeding time. When there are feeding problems, it is necessary to protect the respiratory tract, bring nutritional support and strategies to help the child in his actual maturational level as well as to offer strategies that will help him to achieve milestones in the future.
Keywords : infants; feeding problems; critical period; sensitive period; infant with special needs; oral phase; pharyngeal phase; Latch on; Poor Latch on; organized infant; disorganized infant; low flow; high flow.