Are infant behavioural feeding difficulties associated with congenital heart disease?

Child Care Health Dev. 2001 Jan;27(1):47-59. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2214.2001.00199.x.


Aim: To compare the feeding patterns and difficulties of infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) and healthy controls. Information was gathered via parental questionnaires.

Methods: A matched case controlled study of 64 infants with CHD compared with 64 healthy controls.

Results: The main findings were: (1) Feeding patterns: mothers with infants with CHD used bottle-feeding as a first method of feeding their babies more often (CHD, 20%, controls, 2%); (2) Specific feeding difficulties: (a) infants with CHD were significantly more breathless when feeding (CHD = 16%, controls, 0%), (b) had more vomiting at mealtimes (CHD = 23%, controls = 11%), but (c) had significantly less spitting (CHD = 19%, controls, 41%); and (3) infants with CHD showed significantly reduced growth.

Conclusions: The feeding difficulties are related to the organic condition and not specific difficulties in mother-infant interaction. Professional support may be required for mothers of infants with CHD to maintain feeding routines and to deal with the difficulties that arise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male