Early Oral-Motor Management on Feeding Performance in Premature Neonates

J Formos Med Assoc. 2013 Mar;112(3):161-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Background/purpose: Poor oral-motor developments in premature infants are common. From the viewpoint of developmental care, most of the infants required individualized therapy. The specific aim of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of early intervention of oral-motor management on feeding pattern and the neonatal outcomes in premature neonates.

Methods: The study enrolled 68 preterm infants with birth weight less than 1500 g or gestational age less than 32 weeks. We tried to strengthen the sucking ability of infants with poor oral-motor coordination.

Results: There were significant differences in the body weight (g) while feeding up to 45 mL (1916 ± 156 vs. 2003 ± 191 g, p = 0.002) and hospital stay (46.3 ± 25.3 vs. 54.7 ± 23.5 days, p = 0.003) between the study and control groups.

Conclusion: Abnormal brain sonography [odds ratio (OR): 2.222, p = 0.047) and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) (OR: 2.857, p = 0.017) did affect the first trial in the study group. Early intervention of oral-motor management in very-low-birth-weight premature infants improved feeding performance and neonatal outcome in terms of shorter hospital days. Abnormal brain image and NEC could interfere with the success rate of initial challenge of transitioning from tube to oral feeding in the study group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Echoencephalography
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Motor Activity
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*