Effect of Body Position Changes on Postprandial Gastroesophageal Reflux and Gastric Emptying in the Healthy Premature Neonate

Michiel P. van Wijk, Marc A. Benninga, John Dent, Ros Lontis, Louise Goodchild, Lisa M. McCall, Ross Haslam, Geoffrey P. Davidson and Taher Omari

The objective of this study was to identify a body-positioning regimen that promotes gastric emptying (GE) and reduces gastroesophageal reflux (GER) by changing body position 1 hour after feeding.  Ten healthy preterm infants were monitored with combined esophageal impedance-manometry. Infants were positioned in the left lateral position (LLP) or right lateral position (RLP) and then gavage-fed. After 1 hour, the position was changed to the opposite side. Subsequently, all infants were restudied with the order of positioning reversed.  The uthors conclude that a strategy of right lateral positioning for the first postprandial hour with a position change to the left thereafter promotes GE and reduces liquid GER in the late postprandial period and may prove to be a simple therapeutic approach for infants with GER disease.

The Journal of Pediatrics, 2007, 51(6), 585-590

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