The purpose of the study is to develop a feeding strategy based on developmentally supportive care and the preterm infant's cues.
This PhD project is a feasibility study of a developmentally supportive feeding strategy in the NICU. Preterm infants are immature, which in addition to other challenges, also affects their ability to feed independently.
Their immature nervous system must develop outside of the protective environment in the mother's womb. Therefore, they are at risk for developmental disorders.
Developmentally supportive strategies are used preventively to promote positive stimuli to support normal development. This is largely implemented in Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), but for nutrition and feeding, this form of care is used to a lesser extent.
There is a need to develop an intervention, where the goal is full oral feeding, preferably by breastfeeding, but the path to this goal is based on the infants’ development and their cues, with the parents taking the central role.