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Cup Versus Bottle Feeding for Late Preterm Infants

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Cairo University Identifier:
First received: September 19, 2008
Last updated: October 30, 2008
Last verified: September 2008

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the effect of using cup feeding for preterm infants during NICU stay on breastfeeding outcomes after discharge. The following hypotheses are being tested:

  1. Infants Fed by cup during NICU stay will have higher breastfeeding proportions than infants fed by bottle
  2. Infants fed by cup during NICU stay will have higher breastfeeding behaviour score on the Preterm Infant Breastfeeding Behavior Scale than infants fed by bottle

Condition Intervention
Device: Cup Feeding
Device: Bottle Feeding

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Cup Versus Bottle Feeding for Hospitalized Late Preterm Infants in Egypt

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Cairo University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Breastfeeding Proportion [ Time Frame: one week ]

Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: December 2003
Study Completion Date: August 2004
Primary Completion Date: August 2004 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: I
Group one received feeding by bottle as the standard method of feeding in the NICU
Device: Bottle Feeding
receiving all feeding by bottle
Other Name: bottle feeding group
Experimental: II
Group 2 received all feeding by cup
Device: Cup Feeding
using a cup feeding technique for feeding the preterm infants during NICU stay
Other Name: Cup-feeding Group

Detailed Description:

The provision of breast milk is essential for preterm infants as it provides unique health benefits that are unmatched by other types of feeding [1-3]. However, breastfeeding presents unique challenges for preterm infants that include establishing and maintaining the mothers' milk supply and transitioning the infant from gavage feeding to breastfeeding [4]. One of the issues that presents during the transition to breastfeeding is that mothers of preterm infants are rarely available for all oral feedings during hospitalization; this makes it necessary for infants to receive oral feedings by other method, usually bottle feeding.

However, exposure of newborn infants to artificial nipples has been strongly associated with breastfeeding problems [5-9]. Frequently these problems have been explained by phenomena called nipple confusion. Nipple confusion occurs when infants are exposed to two different feeding methods, bottle and breast, resulting in the infant refusing to breastfeed. Consequently, it has been recommended that bottle feeding be avoided and that cup feeding be used for the supplementation of term as well as preterm infants.

Cup feeding is known as an alternative method of feeding breast milk to an infant using a small cup without a lip. Cup feeding is also recommended by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.The use of cup was originally based on the goal of avoiding propping of bottles and also to increase bodily contact with the mother during feeding. Although cup feeding receives little mention in medical literature, and may seem to be a new technique for some, it has been used in several developing as well as developed countries. Lang, who observed cup feeding in South Nepal, implemented cup feeding in England and the practice expanded to other developed countries. Consequently cup feeding was established as a method for feeding infants who could not be breastfed from birth.


Ages Eligible for Study:   34 Weeks to 37 Weeks   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Singleton birth
  • 34 to 37 weeks of gestation at birth
  • Maternal intention to breastfeed
  • Fed only by tube feeding

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Infants who had any condition interfering with oral feeding
  • Infants with craniofacial anomalies
  • Infants with intracranial hemorrhage
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00756587

Peiatric University NICU
Cairo, Egypt, 00000
Sponsors and Collaborators
Cairo University
Principal Investigator: Amel M Abouelfettoh, PhD, RN Cairo University
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Amel Abouelfettoh, Cairo University Identifier: NCT00756587     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2004
Study First Received: September 19, 2008
Last Updated: October 30, 2008

Keywords provided by Cairo University:
Cup Feeding
late Preterm processed this record on April 24, 2017