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Feeding young infants with their head in upright position reduces respiratory and ear morbidity.

Scientific Reports 2018 April 27
The influence of feeding position of the infant in the pathogenesis of ear and airway diseases has not been well established. We investigated the influence of instructing mothers to feed their 3-month old infants with their head in an upright position on ear and respiratory morbidity during a one-year follow-up. Mothers of 88 infants were instructed by trained nurses to feed their infants with their head in upright position (intervention group). The control group consisted of 75 mothers of infants of similar socioeconomic background who fed their infants without special instructions. Both groups were followed at Maternal-Child-Health clinics. Feeding position was evaluated at the beginning and the end of the twelve-month study, and parent reported morbidity data of both groups were evaluated at every 3-month's follow-up meeting. Infants from the intervention group were fed at a more upright head position. Parameters of parent reported morbidity evaluated as area under the curve were significantly lower in infants from the intervention group concerning ear diseases, respiratory diseases, prolonged fever episodes, need of bronchodilator inhalations and antibiotic courses compared to the control group. Instructing mothers to feed infants with their head in upright position was accompanied with less morbidity and treatment burden.

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