Mother-infant feeding interactions in preterm and full-term infants

Goldie Alfasi, Francesca A. Schwartz, Stephen C. Brake, William P. Fifer, Alan R. Fleischman, Myron A. Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study describes differences in feeding interactions in preterm and full-term infants shortly after birth (T1) and again at one month of age (T2). A group of "healthy" preterm infants (M GA=35 weeks) and a group of full-term infants were observed during a bottle-feed with their mothers. The Nursing Child Assessment of Feeding Scale (NCAFS) was administered, and mothers were asked to complete the Neonatal Perception Inventories (NPI) to assess perceptions of their infants. At T1 both preterm infants and their mothers had lower interactive scores on the NCAFS than full-term infants. One month later (T2), preterm mothers' scores had improved and were no longer significantly different from those of fullterm mothers, while differences between preterm and full-term infants, although diminished, remained significant. On the NPI, mothers of preterm and full-term infants showed few differences in preception of their infants. It is suggested that preterm and full-term dyads may face different tasks in their mutual adaptations during the first month of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • feeding
  • maternal perception
  • mother-infant interaction
  • preterm infants


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