Comparison of Continuous and Intermittent Feeding Methods in Low Birth Weight Infants

Document Type : Original Article


1 Neonatal Research Center, school medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Northern Khorasan University of Medical Sciences


Objective About 1 % of infants are of very low birth weight. However, they comprise about 50% of infant mortality. We compare the effects of continuous versus intermittent feeding on physical growth, gastrointestinal tolerance and macronutrient retention in low birth weight infants (Methods A prospective randomized trial clinical trial was performed from 2004-2005. Very low birth weight neonates (n=73) stratified by birth weight were randomly assigned to either the continuous (24- hour) pump group (n=37)  or intermittent (every 2 hours) nasogastric tube feeding group (n=35). Weight was measured and recorded on the 3rd , 7th , 10th ,13th ,16th ,19th ,22nd day and at discharge. Data was analyzed via SPSS software, t-student and chi-square tests.
 Results There were no significant differences in birth weight, gestational age, first feeding age and weight at beginning study. Of the 73 neonates, 61 neonates were discharged from hospital, 11 neonates died and one of them dropped out of the study because of early discharge. There were no significant differences in weight gaining, feeding tolerance,  discharge weight (p=0.33) or severity of respiratory distress between the groups.
Conclusion This study showed that there were no differences in infant growth relative to the type of feeding.