Summary of webinar
For parents, learning to feed their preterm infant can be both frightening and stressful due to the infants’ fragile nature but also due to the overwhelming well-intended pressure to “get it in” the infant. The importance of the feeding relationship and the infant’s positive learning experiences may get lost “in the numbers” when the parents’ focus is primarily on “emptying the bottle” to get the infant home. Providing parents with the awareness and skills to let their preemie’s communication guide them during feeding creates a meaningful relationship, reduces stress and leads to improved intake. The webinar provides a foundation for supporting parents as they build both confidence and competence feeding their preterm infant, strategies to support safety and move the NICU team away from volume-driven feeding, and enhance long-term feeding outcomes for former preemies.