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Effect of maternal voice on proportion of oral feeding in preterm infants



To determine the impact of maternal voice exposure on oral feeding in preterm infants.

Study design

Prospective, unblinded, 2-center intervention study of infants born 28 0/7–34 6/7 weeks gestation. Infants were exposed twice daily to maternal voice for 20 min before attempting oral feeding. Feedings were divided into groups consisting of Baseline, Intervention, and Follow-up feeds. The study was registered at (NCT05181020).


29/37 (78%) mother-infant dyads consented for the study. 25 infants with 2051 feedings were included. Compared to the preceding Baseline, Intervention feeds were associated with an adjusted 7.1 percentage-point increase in oral intake (p = 0.036) and in post-hoc analysis a 71% increased likelihood of having the highest feeding readiness score (p = 0.003).


Exposure to maternal voice prior to enteral feeding is feasible and was associated with significantly improved oral feeding proportions in preterm infants.

Clinical trial registry (NCT05181020).

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Fig. 1: 3-Level hierarchical structure of data.
Fig. 2


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Authors and Affiliations



AC—Conceptualized and designed the study, contributed to acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data, and drafted and revised the manuscript. JIH—Performed the statistical analysis and interpreted the data and drafted and revised the manuscript. SL—Conceptualized and designed the study, contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted and revised the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shabnam Lainwala.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Chhikara, A., Hagadorn, J.I. & Lainwala, S. Effect of maternal voice on proportion of oral feeding in preterm infants. J Perinatol 43, 68–73 (2023).

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