Promoting Breast Milk Nutrition in Infacts with Cleft Lip and/or Palate in the Philippines
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this thesis is to present a best practice model for supplying breast milk nourishment to infants with cleft lip and/or palate in the Philippines, as a means for optimal nutrition and development. The craniofacial defect of cleft lip and/or palate involves an altered physiological anatomy that affects an infant's ability to generate negative pressure for proper suction during feeding sessions. A cleft lip affects an infant's ability to establish a complete seal around the nipple for proper latching while a cleft palate affects the ability to coordinate intraoral muscle contractions for negative pressure generation. Difficulties in feeding may compromise normal growth and development as well as disrupt the maternal-infant bonding process. According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of oral clefts is 1/800 live births with higher rates among persons of Filipino origin. The Philippines has a high poverty rate and financially lacks the necessary resources to facilitate proper feeding in cleft lip and/or palate infants. The proposed best practice model for education and support for breast milk feeding of infants with cleft lip and/or palate must consider: 1) infants fed breast milk have a decreased incidence of infections, 2) infants have a decreased feeding efficiency compared with infants without craniofacial abnormalities, 3) mothers require additional education and support in feeding their infants, and 4) various methods, equipment, and techniques are available for feeding infants with cleft lip and/or palate. Implementation of this proposed best practice model for supplying breast milk nourishment to infants with cleft lip and/or palate in low-resource countries such as the Philippines requires health care professionals and/or lay health workers to support and educate mothers on the nutritional and overall health benefits of breast milk.
Degree ProgramHonors College