Very premature babies are often fed via a tube but, obviously, at some point they need to move to being fed orally. In this study Ann Gerges, from the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, led a team of researchers looking into whether at what stage babies start to be fed orally makes a difference. 66 babies were included in the trial which found that there was no significant difference between a group who started oral feeding at 30 week and one who started oral feeding at 33 weeks. The researchers concluded that initiating oral-feeding attempts in very premature infants at 30 weeks post-menstrual age does not result in earlier attainment of full oral feedings or discharge but is safe for infants who are not fully tachypnoeic or receiving positive pressure.
You can read the abstract of this article here.