“Feed Me Only When I’m Cueing: Moving Away From a Volume-Driven Culture in the NICU” published in the May-June 2012 issue of Neonatal Intensive Care –The Journal of Perinatology-Neonatology.
Abstract: The adverse feeding outcomes of NICU graduates and their enduring feeding problems suggest a need to critically look at “the culture of feeding” in the NICU. It is a pivotal factor in how the preterm experiences feeding , how parents develop their working model of the feeding relationship, and how the NICU team communicates about, and attempts to support, feeding skills needed for discharge to home. These cultural underpinnings can affect caregiving, both adversely and positively, and, therefore, the emergence of safe and successful feeding and swallowing. An “infant-driven” culture of feeding (Ludwig & Waitzman, 2007) embraces the infant as a co-regulatory partner. A more traditional “volume-driven” feeding culture focuses on emptying the bottle. An Infant-driven culture is suggested as essential for a true cue-based feeding approach, which optimally supports the preterm infant’s developmental strivings and long-term well-being.
Together, we can help change the culture of feeding in the NICU.