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Sucking Reflex

Pregnancy & Parenting  Sub-fertility  Sudden infant death syndrome

Sucking Reflex
The sucking reflex often occurs with the rooting reflex, but may occur by itself. Touch your baby's lips. Watch the sucking and swallowing motions that your newborn makes.
Defense Reflexes ...

Sucking reflex - from birth, your baby will be able to suck. The sucking reflex is one of the last reflexes to develop in the womb, so premature babies often don't have this reflex.

Sucking Reflex _______________________ When an infant's lips are touched, the baby makes a sucking motion. Thus, as the lips touch the mother's breast the baby sucks and so takes in food. The sucking reflex begins to diminish at about 6 months of age.

Rooting and sucking reflex
A video demonstrating the rooting and sucking reflex, present in a newborn baby
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The rooting and sucking reflexes help a a newborn get nourishment. Rooting prompts an infant to automatically turn in the direction of a food source, whether that's a breast or a bottle. You may be able to evoke this response if you gently stroke your newborn's cheek near the mouth with your hand.

Sucks on a finger that is put in his mouth (the sucking reflex)
Turns his head and opens his mouth ready to feed when his cheek is stroked (the rooting reflex)
Tightly grasps a finger that is put into his hand (the grasping reflex) ...

Babies have a natural sucking reflex, and this enables the babies to suckle and swallow. Breast milk is considered to be the healthiest form of nutrition for the baby, unless the mother is taking medication or is suffering from tuberculosis, HIV or any other communicable disease.

Nourishment is a basic need and babies come out ready for action, with an incredibly strong sucking reflex. 'Every mom is absolutely amazed by this,' says Tracey Novoselnik, a midwife in Winnipeg.

Over the ensuing hours, he became lethargic; hypotonia worsened, and he had poor sucking reflex although blood glucose was maintained in the normal range. An attempt at nasogastric tube feeding with expressed breast milk was unsuccessful due to regurgitation and was replaced with intravenous fluids.

Although Lucia had no major issues and she was only kept in an incubator for a few hours, her sucking reflex had not developed and she was initially fed by naso-gastric (NG) tube.

She had no corneal reflex, no gag reflex, no sucking reflex. Her eyes were wild and moved robotically; her cornea was dry and crusty because she could not blink.

The young one is born with a sucking reflex and hence it can suck milk from the nipples or from the baby bottle. Food supplements are normally given after 6 months when the baby begins to grow.

The problem kicks in with feeding as babies develop the sucking reflex at 35 weeks onwards, without this they cannot bottle or breastfeed themselves and need to be fed thru a tube in their nose until they learn, for this they need to be in NICU.

These include the sucking reflex, the swallowing reflex and the gagging reflex that prevents him from taking too much liquid and the labyrinthine reflex, where a baby that lies on his stomach will automatically turn his head, instead of just lying with his head down.

The doctor or midwife will put a finger in your baby's mouth to check that the roof of his mouth (palate) is complete and his sucking reflex is working (Draper 2008). A gap in the palate, called cleft palate, will need surgery and may make feeding difficult.

The sucking reflexes have perfected by now, so that the baby can easily suckle the mother’s milk.
As the baby has grown much, there will be less space in the womb to move about. Nevertheless, the baby continues movements, but at intervals.

Wrap him snugly and warmly, hold him closely, handle him slowly, and feed him when he's hungry. Your baby will have the routing and sucking reflexes as well as tongue thrust. These are needed to get nourishment from the breast or bottle.

See also: See also: What is the meaning of Reflex, Pregnancy, Newborn, Pregnant, Vagina?

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