No evidence-based supported guidelines are currently available for health professionals caring for these infants. Through research, a growing understanding of the development of nutritive sucking skills has emerged shedding light on how and why infants may encounter oral feeding difficulties due to the immaturity of specific physiologic functions. This review focuses on the maturation of the various physiologic functions implicated in the transport of a bolus from the oral cavity to the stomach. We have learned that each of these functions encompasses a number of elements that mature at different times and rates. Consequently, it would appear that the proper functioning of sucking, the swallow processing, and respiration need to occur at two levels: first, the elements within each function must reach an appropriate functional maturation that can work in synchrony with each other to generate an appropriate suck, swallow process, and respiration; and second the elements of all these distinct functions, in turn, must be able to do the same at an integrative level to ensure the safe and efficient transport of a bolus from the mouth to the stomach.
Development of suck and swallow mechanisms in infants
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Newborn babies are born with several important reflexes that help them through their first weeks and months of life. These reflexes are involuntary movements that happen either spontaneously or as responses to different actions. The baby will begin to suck when this area is stimulated, which helps with nursing or bottle feeding. Reflexes may be strong in some babies and weak in others depending on a number of factors, including how early the baby was born before their due date.
[Syndrome of delayed maturation of the sucking-swallowing reflex].
The sucking reflex is probably one of the most important reflexes your newborn has. It is paired with the rooting reflex, in which a newborn searches for a food source. When he finds it, the sucking reflex allows him to suck and swallow the milk.
This report describes such difficulties in a group of infants with normal development, suggesting late maturation of sucking and swallowing. The lack of sucking and swallowing or difficulty with them were the main manifestations in these newborns: the face lacked expression and the tongue movements were abnormal with, in two cases, hyper-extension of the neck. A third phase during the first years of life was characterized by repeated episodes of respiratory infections, recurrent stridor and accumulation of saliva. These manifestations required prolonged hospitalization mean: 2. The investigations during the acute phases included a cineradiographic study of swallowing, laryngoscopy, monitoring of the distal esophagus pH, a barium swallow, polygraphic recording during sleep and MR imaging of the brain stem.