Brain Oriented Care in the NICU
I wanted to share with those of you who are part of an NICU team or provide services for NICU graduates an article that, while 4 years old, is still so applicable as we support change from a volume-driven to an infant-guided feeding culture in the NICU. Those of you have an interest in neuroprotection for fragile adults will also find it interesting.
Bader, L. (2014) Brain-Oriented Care in the NICU: A Case Study. Neonatal Network Sept/Oct 2014, 263-267
Brain-oriented care, or neuroprotection, is often thought of as “new” to the NICU, yet as the author states, neuroprotection encompasses all the interventions that promote development of the brain. Because our NICU infants are wiring their brains outside the womb, every experience matters. Especially when it comes to feeding. The author makes the connection to infant-guided feeding, an approach we all need to advocate minimizing the physiologic stress associated with learning to feed in the NICU, and indeed after discharge. Unfortunately, the physiologic stress that many NICU infants experience when fed using a volume-driven approach instead, can wire the brain away from feeding. The feeding outcomes of NICU infants, which are poor, make it imperative that we be a part of the change in our NICUs to listen to the infant’s communication and provide the relationship-based care, especially with feeding, that allows the preterm infant’s brain to wire in an adaptive not a maladaptive way.
I hope you find this informative.