Oral stimulation for promoting oral feeding in preterm infants

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The included studies suggest that oral stimulation shortens hospital stay, days to exclusive oral feeding and duration of parenteral nutrition, however risk of bias and poor methodological quality are high overall.

Preterm infants are often delayed in attaining oral feeding. Normal oral feeding is suggested as an important outcome for the timing of discharge from the hospital and can be an early indicator of neuromotor integrity and developmental outcomes. A range of oral stimulation interventions may help infants to develop sucking and oromotor co‐ordination, promoting earlier oral feeding and earlier hospital discharge. This review aims to determine the effectiveness of oral stimulation interventions for attainment of oral feeding in preterm infants.

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