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Nipple Feeding Preterm Infants: An Individualized, Developmentally Supportive Approach

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Many NICU infants present with complex issues that affect the transition to full nipple feeding. At a time when length of stay is critical, this transition can be facilitated by an individualized, developmentally supportive approach. The approach described in this article involves (1) observing the infant for behavioral cues of stability or stress during nippling, as reflected in change in color, state of alertness, breathing, and swallowing; (2) individualizing intervention to help the infant regain and maintain coordination; and (3) facilitating parents' competence and confidence in feeding their infant. Contingent interventions are used to promote physiologic homeostasis and self-regulation.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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