The aim of this case report was to identify the optimal point to start oral feeding in order to help a preterm infant successfully pass through the transitional feeding period. Because all preterm infants must go through a transitional feeding period, going through this period successfully is very important. This case report described a nursing experience related to caring for a low-birth-weight preterm infant who showed hunger cues before feeding at around 31gestational weeks during the tube-feeding period. An assessment revealed that the preterm infant did not exhibit good sucking, breathing, and swallowing coordination. Therefore, we decided to design a nursing care plan to help the preterm infant transition smoothly from tube feeding to oral feeding. The nursing care period was from September 21st to November 2th, 2017. The care processes included: 1) the oral stimulation phase: Provision of oral stimulation to increase oral motor function, 2) the oral feeding training phase: Use of the Preterm Oral Feeding Readiness Scale (POFRAS) assessment tool to assess feeding readiness before oral feeding, 3) use of a cue-based approach to decide the starting and stopping points, and, finally, 4) the transition to the demand feeding phase. As the preterm infant grew, the body weight and feeding amount both increased positively and without complications. This experience may serve as a model for developing clinical guidelines for a cue-based feeding approach for preterm infants during the transitional feeding period.
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