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Breastfeeding Advisor

1. Sucking and swallowing disorders

Ingestion disorders and dysphagia during the neonatal period can be regarded as 1. Sucking and swallowing disorders. Patients need to be assessed with the following perspectives: 1) Nutrition intake and growth, 2) Development of sucking and swallowing functions, and 3) Underlying disorders.
Ingestion disorders and dysphagia are frequently observed in neonates with congenital disorders. If underlying disorders are treatable, the medical intervention would be prior to them. Because babies are undergoing development of ingestion and swallowing function, age factor should be considered. It is important to understand which process is disturbed.
Since babies are on the way of development, the symptoms would change drastically along with the neurorogical development. Moreover, the prognosis varies with the underlying disorders. This should be considered together with health condition.

Chart 1 Development of Ingestive Abilities in Infants

Age 0-5 months 5-6 months  7-8 months 9-11 months
Tongue movement Peristaltic-like   Front to back Up and down Left and right
Lips and Mouth Half-open/Tongue protruding Lips closed Left/right flex at the same time Left/right flex alternately
Food Liquid Mashed Soft solids/Shredded Bite-size/Solid

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