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Early Hum Dev. 1981 May;5(2):195-9.

Differences in the pattern of milk intake between breast and bottle fed infants.


Two hundred and nine 6-day-old healthy term infants were test weighed either during bottle feeding (n= 77) or breast feeding (n=132). Cross-sectional data collection avoided repeated interruptions of individual feeds. Bottle fed infants (fed ad libitum) and breast fed infants consumed a similar feed volume (respectively, 67 +/- 2 ml versus 75 +/- 6ml, mean +/- S.E.M.) over a similar period of time (mean 25 min); yet the pattern of milk flow during feeding was significantly different in the two groups. In bottle fed infants, there was a linear pattern of milk intake over the first 10 min of feeding, by which time 81% of the feed has been consumed, contrasting with a biphasic intake pattern in breast fed infants in whom a total 84% of the feed was consumed either in the first 4 min or between 15 and 19 min after the start of the feed. It is speculated that these differences in the pattern of milk intake could influence the physiological responses to feeding and might account for differences between breast and bottle fed infants in gut hormonal responses to milk feeds.

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