Mechanism to Promote Safe and Efficient Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants
Principal Investigator: Bobbi Pineda / Oleksy / A. Mathur
Project Period: 5/03/21 - 5/03/23
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Award Number: R44 HS092210
Anticipated Award: $1,730,866
Oral intake is an important indicator of weight gain and development for premature infants, especially as they approach discharge from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). However, the underlying skills for oral feeding such as coordinating suck-swallow-breathe, state regulation, and maintenance of oral tone can be difficult to achieve for premature infants. Interventions have been developed to facilitate the acquisition of these skills and adapt feeding until the infant is mature; however, to date, these are more effectively implemented under the guidance of an experienced neonatal feeder (such as a nurse, SLP, OT, or other healthcare providers). The purpose of this study is to test the safety and feasibility of a novel feeding technology to eventually improve ease of feeding for this population.