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The Influence of Method, Timing of Onset and Duration of Enteral Feeding on the Duration of Hospitalization of Newborn Infants in a Nigerian Special Care Baby Unit


Ogunlesi TA* and Ogunfowora OB

Background: Feeding practices among high‑risk newborn babies have not been extensively studied in the resource‑constrained parts of the world. Aim: To describe the pattern of milk use among infants in a resource‑poor special care baby unit (SCBU) and relate these to the outcome of hospitalization. Subjects and Methods: Setting – SCBU of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu. Design – Prospective study of consecutively admitted inborn babies within the first 24 h of life. The data analyzed included the weight and estimated gestational age (EGA) of the babies, the age at the onset of and duration of feeds (breast milk and artificial milk [AM]). Results: Out of the 118 infants studied, (78.8%) 93/118 received breast milk and 16.1% (19/118) received AM. The mean age at the commencement of enteral feeding was 3.9 days. The age at the onset of suckling was negatively correlated with the EGA and body weight. The age at the onset and duration of enteral feeding were directly related to the duration of admission. Conclusion: More than three‑quarter of the infants hospitalized in the unit received breast milk, but commencement was mostly delayed beyond the 3rd day of life. The duration of admission may be related to the timing of onset and duration of milk use.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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