What your colleagues are saying about Infant-Driven Feeding® education…

One of our favorite responses to Infant-Driven Feeding® education was that “even old nurses can learn something new!”  Our physicians appreciated both the literature that supports IDF and the natural ease of both presenters.  Our babies have done great with IDF.  They are leaving the unit quicker, and parents feel competent in feeding their child.  The whole program supports neonatal development.  It’s a therapist’s dream!

Ginger Castle, MS, CCC-SLP, Northwest Texas Healthcare System Amarillo, TX

Infant-Driven Feeding® was selected as the cue-based feeding method to be used in our unit because it seemed to be objective, straight-forward, and easy to use.  We have never regretted our decision.  Members of all role groups who play any part in feeding a preterm or convalescent newborn have found it very intuitive.  It is also easy for parents to understand.

During the early days of our use of the Infant-Driven Feeding Scales©, we had occasion to seek consultation on a particularly challenging case.  The response was immediate and detailed, and follow-up extended beyond the original inquiry.  I would recommend use of the Infant-Driven Feeding® model for any NICU or Special Care Nursery that is interested in making the feeding experience of their patients more developmentally appropriate and based on the needs and abilities of the infants.

Janet Madden, RN, Neonatal Nurse in a level III NICU

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Your program has completely changed how I care for and feed babies. I have been a NICU nurse for over 20 years and thought I was up-to-date on the latest technologies and treatments. I found out that developmentally appropriate care with intentional thoughtful nurturing touch is not only important, but is an absolute necessity for best outcomes. I LOVED the part about neuronal mapping and how babies experiences become “hard-wired.”

Now that I see the positive responses in the babies, I can’t believe I wasn’t doing this all along. I felt like I was asleep before and now after making some major adjustments in my care and feeding practices, I feel like I am a much better nurse and steward. I can see it in the parents too! They get it. Your examples of poor outcomes from force-feeding are heart wrenching. They brought to life the seriousness of oral feeding experiences and how this not only affects the infant, but also the entire family, and not only for the newborn period, but for life. I only wish I would have learned about this years ago!

You guys are the BEST!

Connie Urbach, BSN, RN, CEIM, Winchester Medical Center NICU Winchester, VA

I have practiced neonatology for 27 years and have seen trends come and go and come back again. I have seen mishaps and great new therapies and technologies. One thing is for certain, the more we learn about our preterm infant cues and behaviors, the better we do at managing certain aspects of care. This probably falls under the umbrella of “patient centered care”.

For years I watched as we struggled with deciding when, how often, and how fast we should progress a preterm infant’s PO feeding as we knew this was dependent on neurologic pathways (barring any underlying disease states). We have learned that the development of these pathways can be observed in the growing preterm infant as specific behaviors and alert states. That is, the infant can be the driver of when to begin PO feeding. Thus, the “Infant Driven Feeding” system.

While this is physiologically sound, it is also elegant and simple. We write one order, “Infant Driven Feedings”, and when that magical time arrives, we write, “ad lib”. We find that infants are often ready to PO sooner than we realized, thus shortening their length of stay. A bonus is that the transition to breast feeding with this system is also quite simple and seamless. We just put the infant to breast when the order is written for ‘Infant Driven Feedings” and gavage based on time at the breast. This can continue as long as the mother “drives” the process. So now we have mother and infant driven feedings. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Marc Belcastro, MD, NICU Medical Director, Miami Valley Hospital