Feeding Preterm Infants with BPD Post-Hospitalization

Tuesday, 14 July 2009: 2:25 PM

Gail C. McCain, PhD, RN, FAAN
Jessica Loucas, MSN, RN, CPNP
Lilia Diaz-Pino, BSN, MSN
Adriana Arcia, BSN, RN
Nursing, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Learning Objective 1: identify how mothers of preterm infants with BPD manage infant feeding.

Learning Objective 2: discuss feeding interventions for preterm infants with BPD.


Preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) take longer to feed, ingest less volume, and spend less time in sucking behavior compared to infants without BPD. The purpose was to examine how preterm infants with BPD were feeding at 3-months post hospital discharge.


A qualitative, interview study was conducted. Forty-two mothers of 47 preterm infants with BPD (3 sets of twins and 1 set of triplets) were included. Fifty-five percent of mothers were not married and 76% were unemployed. The infants were 53% female and 47% male; and 6% Caucasian, 49% Black, 43% Hispanic, and 2% other. Infants' gestational ages at birth were 26 + 1 weeks and birth weights were 778 ± 171 grams. Interviews with the mothers were conducted at 3-months after their infants were discharged home. A semi-structured interview guide included questions about infant feeding, parental concerns, signs of BPD with feeding, techniques needed to feed their infant, and infant growth. Content analysis was used  to analyze the mothers' responses to the interview.


The major problem for the mothers was how to manage the feeding of their infants with BPD in order to insure growth. The themes included management of : 1) feeding frequency and nutrients including formula/human milk and solids, 2) reflux related to positioning and medication, and 3) re-hospitalization for feeding issues of weight loss and over-feeding.


Mothers expressed a need for more help during their infant's hospitalization to understand reflux, and the relationship of reflux to successful feeding strategies.