Nipple feeding of premature infants presents a challenge to neonatal nurses who are trying to prepare the infants for eventual discharge from the hospital. To determine what empirical evidence there was to support interventions that positively influence feeding performance and feeding efficiency a meta-analysis is presented. The effects of NPO, nasogastric tubes, different nipples, breast versus bottle feeding, gestational age, oral support, oral stimulation, and nonnutritive sucking on volume intake are evaluated. The results suggest that nursing care should: (a) consider the infant's gestational age; (b) maturational ability and development; (c) keep track of and attempt to minimize the length of time an infant is NPO; and (d) provide prefeeding oral stimulation and oral support.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/colleen_stockdale/10/