Gastrointestinal motility in the neonate

Clin Perinatol. 1996 Jun;23(2):179-90.


Many aspects of the forward propulsion of enteral nutrients are not fully mature in the preterm and term neonate. Because the regulation of motor activity in the gastrointestinal tract is complex and multifaceted, many levels of regulation of this activity are immature in the preterm infant; however, as neonatologists develop a better understanding of the physiologic mechanisms that underlie these dysfunctions as well as the interactions of nutrients, hormones, and pharmacologic agents with these regulatory mechanisms, better feeding strategies can be tailored for these infants. Moreover, current studies will permit the development of predictive and diagnostic tools as well as the refinement of pharmacologic interventions for these infants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Feeding Behavior
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / physiology
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Motilin / physiology


  • Motilin