According to researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, paladai (beaked receptacle) feeding can be effective in preterm infants as young as 30 weeks postconceptional age (PCA).

Twenty newborns were recruited for the study. Ten qualified for the 28 to 30-week group and 10 for the 31 to 32-week group. Infants were offered paladai feeds on alternate days. A total of 47 feeds were delivered in group one and 27 feeds in group two.

Average intake increased from 5.5 ml/min to 10.1 ml/min in group one and 6.2 ml/min to 11.5 ml/min in group two over the course of the study. Both groups experienced issues with timing between breathing and feeding in 25% of cases.

Conclusion: With time, infants in both groups learned to adjust to paladai feeds, but the younger group grew more proficient. Researchers believe stable infants as young as 29 week PCA can be effectively fed using the paladai method.

Source: Dalal SS, Mishra S, Agarwal R, Deorari AK, Paul VK, Sankar MJ. Feeding Behavior and Performance of Preterm Neonates on Paladai Feeding. Acta Paediatr. 2013 Jan 8. doi: 10.1111/apa.12148.

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