Aim: The lack of development in sucking-swallowing-respiration coordination in preterm infants leads to significant delays in transition from gavage feeding to independent oral feeding or to feeding by parenteral application. To raise awareness of good-care practices increasing the quality of the feeding experience in preterm infants and to support safe and effective transition from gavage feeding to total oral feeding. Method: This article was based on searching and reviewing national and international literature. Results: Achieving independent oral feeding is an important stage for preterm infants. Studies have shown that physiological intervention methods (non-nutritional sucking, oral stimulation, combined oral motor interventions, and oral care), developmental care practices, parental supportive care practices, and educational interventions can be used effectively to support the transition of preterm newborns to total oral feeding. Conclusion: Supporting preterm infants with various good care practices during their total oral feeding process can have a positive effect on shortening the time for transition to independent oral feeding and hospital stay, and thereby a reduction of health costs. In addition, it can increase the level of daily weighing and discharge from hospital, breastfeeding rates, food intake, quality of care and parental care satisfaction. In Turkey, preparation of evidence-based guidelines on the subject and total oral feeding need to be managed in an evidence-based and individualized way.
Keywords: Preterm Babies, Gavage Feeding, Total Oral Nutrition, Care, Nurse