Sucking

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Sucking

 

in humans and other mammals, an innate unconditioned reflex that is formed in the fetus during intrauterine development.

The structural and functional mechanisms of sucking develop long before birth, in the early stages of embryogeny. In an 18-week-old human fetus sucking movements of the lips are observed upon the stimulation of the tongue. In the 21st or 22nd weeks spontaneous sucking occurs, and in the 24th week there are distinct seeking and sucking reactions. The sucking function is characteristic even of anencephalics.

Stimulation of the tactile receptors of the lips and the anterior part of the tongue results in the spread of the excitation along the centripetal branches of the trigeminal nerve. The impulses enter the sucking center, which is located in the truncal part of the brain, and are switched to centrifugal nerves, along which the excitation is transmitted to the muscles that perform the sucking (masticatory muscles and the muscles of the lips, mouth, and tongue). The act of sucking begins with the movement of the tongue and lower jaw downward and back, which creates a negative pressure in the oral cavity. The contraction of the lip and mouth muscles causes the squeezing of the nipple of the mother’s mammary gland. The nerve impulses that arise during this process enter the hypothalamus, which the impulses reflexively stimulate to form vasopressin and oxytocin, as well as a releasing factor. The releasing factor enters the pituitary gland and induces the secretion of prolactin, which controls lactation. Oxytocin is transported by the blood to the myoepithelial cells of the mammary gland, inducing the contraction of the glands, the release of milk from the alveoli into the mammary ducts, and the secretion of milk.

REFERENCES

Shuleikina, K. V. “Fiziologicheskaia kharakteristika sosa-tel’noi funktsii novorozhdennogo v pervye dni ego zhizni.” In Trudy Per-vogo Vserossiiskogo s“ezda detskikh vrachei. Moscow, 1961.
Barabash-Nikiforov, I. I., and A. N. Formozov. Teriologiia. Moscow, 1963.
Villee, C, and V. Dethier. Biologiia: biologicheskie protsessy i zakony. Moscow, 1974. Pages 545–46. (Translated from English.)
References in periodicals archive ?
25) This type of malocclusion has been associated with nonnutritive sucking habits, mouth breathing and hypertrophy of the adenoids and tonsils.
Nonnutritive sucking during tube feedings: Effects on preterm neonates in an intensive care unit.
The nonnutritive sucking enhances the let-down reflex, improves mother-child bonding, shortens the transition time to breast-feeding, and lengthens the duration of breast-feeding, results of studies show.
Stroking the infants' oral structures was intended to strengthen the oral musculature necessary for adequate sucking, and nonnutritive sucking was intended both to allow the babies to practice using this musculature and to build endurance, said Dr.
Similarly, Levy and coworkers (4) made use of life table analysis to explore nonnutritive sucking and breastfeeding in relationship to childcare attendance.
Nonnutritive sucking (NNS) reduces pain and distress responses in infants undergoing heelstick (Field & Goldson, 1984), intravenous catheter insertion (Miller & Anderson, 1993), and circumcision (Gunnar, Fisch, & Malone, 1984).
The nonnutritive sucking enhances the letdown reflex, improves mother-child bonding, shortens the transition time to breast-feeding, and lengthens the duration of breast-feeding, results of studies show.
Duration of nutritive and nonnutritive sucking behaviors and their effects on the dental arches in the primary dentition.
Swaddling, nonnutritive sucking, slow rocking, and gentle transitions are calming techniques discussed here.
Effects of oral stimulation and oral support on nonnutritive sucking and feeding performance in preterm infants.