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Arch Pediatr. 2007 Sep;14 Suppl 1:S35-41.

[Development of oral feeding skills in the preterm infant].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Départment de pédiatrie, section de néonatologie, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, MC 06104, Houston TX 77030, Etats-Unis.


Preterm infants cannot readily transition from tube to oral feeding. Such difficulty often delays their discharge from the hospital and mother-infant reunion. Therefore, understanding the development of the necessary skills preterm infants need to acquire for safe and successful oral feeding is essential. It is now recognized that a mature sucking pattern consisting of the rhythmic alternation of suction and expression is not sufficient for an infant to feed by mouth safely. Rather, an adequate coordination of sucking, swallowing, and respiration appear to be crucial if the infant is to feed with no episodes of desaturation, apnea, bradycardia, and/or aspiration. Studies have shown the benefits of some interventions in facilitating oral feeding in the preterm infant. However, it remains to be determined whether these effects can be generalized.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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