Supporting Feeding in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Infants born preterm, or with medical conditions affecting physiologic stability, are at an increased risk for both short- and long-term feeding problems. To assess and develop intervention programs that support safe, efficient oral feeding in this population, NICU-based SLPs need to be familiar with the roles of maturation, experience, and physiologic stability. This program provides state-of-the-science information about feeding acquisition as well as feeding difficulties in the NICU, and also addresses the efficacy of current intervention strategies. Finally, we’ll introduce a theory-based feeding algorithm as a structured approach to focusing on quality feeding experiences in the NICU.
You will be able to:
- describe the effect of maturation, experience, and physiologic stability on the acquisition of feeding skills by preterm and late-preterm infants
- discuss the efficacy of interventions designed to hasten and/or improve feeding skills
- describe the prevalence of feeding and growth problems in preterm infants
- describe elements of a feeding approach based on quality indicators