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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 226-230

Effect of an early oral stimulation program on oral feeding in preterm neonates

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Pediatrics, Housh Eissa Hospital, Ministry of Health, El Behera, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Nadia A Mekawy
Housh Eissa Hospital, Ministry of Health, El Behera
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mmj.mmj_241_19

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Objective To evaluate the effect of prefeeding oral stimulation program on feeding performance, weight gain, and length of hospital stay of preterm infants in neonatal ICUs. Background Previous research has declared that poor oral-motor developments in premature infants are common. So, most of the preterm infants require individualized therapy. Early intervention of oral-motor management on feeding pattern improves the outcome. Patients and methods To reach the goal of this research, a case–control study was conducted. A total of 50 preterm infants were divided into two groups: (a) interventional group (25 preterm infants), which received prefeeding oral stimulation program by stimulation of the oral and perioral structures for 5 min for 10 days and was started immediately after delivery, and (b) control group (25 preterm infants), which did not receive stimulation. Postmenstrual age, total intake volume, body weight, the transition time from initiation of oral feeding to full oral feeding, and feeding efficiency were calculated. Results We found that the mean oral feeding duration was significantly lower among intervention group compared with control group (P = 0.04). The percentage of weight change was significantly higher among intervention group compared with control group (P = 0.03). Conclusion Our study reveals that early sensory oral-motor stimulation with nonnutritive sucking in preterm infants may be effective to expedite oral feeding and hospital discharge. A touch therapy program may confer a statistically significant weight gain for premature babies at much shorter intervals, which leads to a shorter hospital stay.

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