Take a moment and think about how your NICU supports infants and families in the transition to oral feeding.
Do parents know what it means to make feeding a nurturing experience from admission forward – perhaps weeks or months before oral feeding begins? Have you conveyed how repetitive positive moments contribute to neurodevelopment?
(Image taken from Online IDF Course)
Do they understand that while the type of support they provide varies at different ages and developmental stages, that THEY are the most vital consistent factor?
Are they aware that while holding their daughter skin to skin, they are learning to read her cues, which will help them become her feeding experts?
Do your colleagues on every shift intentionally build this type of feeding culture and practice?
Can you imagine if they did?