Feeding and non-feeding interactions of mothers and prematures.
The interactions between mothers and premature infants during feeding and nonfeeding periods were explored. Twenty-nine premature infants and their mothers were observed interacting for 1 hour in their homes at 6 months corrected for prematurity. Mothers were more likely to engage in the following behaviors involving close contact during feeding: looking at the infant, holding the infant, having body contact, and rocking their infants. They interacted with their infants 96% of feeding time. During nonfeeding periods, they were more likely to engage in more distal behaviors (e.g., gesturing, touching, and playing with the infant) and spent only 67% of the time interacting with the infant. Infants were more likely to be alert, vocalize, play with objects, express negative affect, and locomote during nonfeeding, and they were more likely to be drowsy or asleep during feeding. Therefore, a complete understanding of interactions between mothers and prematures can only come from examining both feeding and nonfeeding periods.
Holditch-Davis, D; Miles, MS; Belyea, M
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