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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Cup versus bottle feeding for hospitalized late preterm infants in Egypt: A quasi-experimental study

Amel M Abouelfettoh12*, Donna A Dowling1, Soheir A Dabash2, Shadia R Elguindy2 and Iman A Seoud3

Author Affiliations

1 Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

2 Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

3 Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Pediatric University Hospital, Cairo, Egypt

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International Breastfeeding Journal 2008, 3:27  doi:10.1186/1746-4358-3-27

Published: 21 November 2008



Although previous studies have demonstrated beneficial breastfeeding outcomes when cup feeding rather than bottle feeding was used for feeding preterm infants, cup feeding has not been implemented in Egypt. The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of using cup feeding as an exclusive method of feeding preterm infants during hospitalization on breastfeeding outcomes after discharge.


A quasi-experimental design, with the control group studied first, was used to examine the effect of cup feeding for preterm infants on breastfeeding outcomes after discharge. Sixty preterm infants (mean gestational age was 35.13 weeks and mean birth weight was 2150 grams) were recruited during Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stay. Control group infants (n = 30) received only bottle feedings during hospitalization and the experimental group (n = 30) received only cup feedings during hospitalization. Both groups were followed up after discharge for six weeks to evaluate infant's breastfeeding behavior and mother's breastfeeding practices. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVA for testing the differences between the cup feeding and bottle feeding groups over six weeks after discharge.


Cup fed infants demonstrated significantly more mature breastfeeding behaviors when compared to bottle fed infants (p < 0.01) over six weeks, and had a significantly higher proportion of breast feedings one week after discharge (p = 0.03).


Cup fed infants were more exclusively breast fed one week after discharge, supporting the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative recommendations for using cup feeding and avoiding bottle feeding when providing supplementation for preterm infants. The current study provides initial evidence for the implementation of cup feeding as a method of supplementation for late preterm infants during hospitalization.

Trial Registration

Clinical Trial NCT00756587.