Effect of Prefeeding Oral Stimulation Program on Preterm Infants' Feeding Performance

Hoda Wahid Amer, Hanan Mohamed Rashad, Soheir Abd Elhamid Dabash, Zahraa Mohamed Ezz El Din


One of the most common feeding problems of preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is difficulty reaching full oral feeding. The use of an individualized, evidence-based approach is strongly recommended to assist preterm infants in transitioning from gavage to full oral feeding. Hence, this study evaluates the effect of a 5-min. prefeeding oral stimulation program on oral feeding duration, total oral intake rate and net- leakage of preterm infants who were defined as inefficient feeders. A quasi- experimental design was used on a purposive sample composed of fifty five preterm infants selected from two NICUs of Cairo University Hospitals. Twenty eight as a control group who were left to hospital routine care, and twenty seven as intervention group. Three minutes of manual perioral and intraoral stimulation followed by two minutes of sucking on a pacifier was applied to the intervention group for two consecutive days twice per day. Results revealed that the intervention group demonstrated a significant increase in total oral intake rate, less net leakage and shorter oral feeding duration than the control group. In conclusion, prefeeding oral stimulation program improved the preterm infants' feeding performance. Such an intervention should be implemented for inefficient preterm infants in the NICUs because it is safe, simple and inexpensive.

Key words: Prefeeding oral stimulation program - Feeding performance -Preterm infants.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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