Friday, June 29, 2012

Wow, so I thought when I started this blog that I would have so much to write about.  Well that is true, but graduate school, full time work, 3 children and a decidedly undomesticated husband have left little time to write about it! I've finished two of the three years of my program in child development and the next two semesters will be for my internship only! Can't wait.  I am really blessed to have been granted approval to spend the next year working on the validation and piloting of a behaviorally based feeding assessment for preterm infants that I developed several years back but had not, until now, any time to properly research.  I'd promise to write a whole post about it soon but, well, you know how unlikely that is from my history!  But I will try to take time soon.  It is a great project and definitely would fill a gap that exists in practice and the literature.  NICU's don't know how to support an infant's emerging feeding abilities, they want to measure things like how many milliliters the baby took, regardless of what it cost the baby behaviorally to do so.  So I'm giving them a way to measure what matters, the infant's own capacity and threshold for challenges. 5ml taken well with regulated body movements, breathing, etc... is way better in the short and long term than forcing a baby to take an entire bottle after which he is exhausted and limp, or worse, telling a mother that the nurse will supplement her breastfeeding effort "just in case". My feeding assessment also provides a meaningful measure of how regulating breast feeding in tiny babies is (not hard work at all!) and provides support for the notion that the infant is an active participant in his own nurturance - when a NICU forgets this, babies and parents suffer.  Wish me luck!!!

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