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Special Topic Course: Out of Focus: Using Your Neonatal Therapy Lens to Empower Breastfeeding

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Speakers: Kristin Taylor, OT, CNT
Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP
Kristin TaylorErin Hamilton Spence

Topic: Out of Focus: Using Your Neonatal Therapy Lens to Empower Breastfeeding.

Course Description: The evidence base for benefits of breastmilk feeding for the NICU population continues to grow. Despite the added complexity of providing breastmilk and feeding at the breast, improved short-term and long-term outcomes fuel the drive to support NICU families desiring to do so. NICU clinicians operate in a world of objective day-to-day nutritive intake volumes based on assumptions about optimal growth. Because feeding at the breast introduces uncertain intake volumes, this route of feeding is often not supported or encouraged with complex feeders. Additionally, the functional differences between breastfeeding and bottle feeding have been under appreciated. Ultrasound imaging of feeding at the breast has elucidated the wider latch required, as well as the unique mechanics of the tongue for effective breastfeeding compared to bottle feeding. Because neonatal therapists focus on neurodevelopment, we are in a unique position to support breastfeeding families throughout their NICU stay. By combining a family-centered framework with individual assessment of the infant, neonatal therapists can provide each mother-infant dyad with appropriate expectations for breastfeeding milestones, identify progressions to the next stage, and troubleshoot breastfeeding challenges. Multidisciplinary collaboration among infants, parents, therapists, clinicians, dietitians, lactation consultants, and nursing is essential to optimal breastfeeding support.

Speaker Bio: Kristin Taylor, OTR, CNT, CLC has been an Occupational Therapist for 15 plus years at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth. She has been a Neonatal Therapist for over 12 years. During that time, she has become a Certified Neonatal Therapist, Certified Lactation Consultant, has trained in both NTMTC and CIMI, serves as a mentor to new NICU therapists, and is working with her other NICU therapists to develop a FEES program in her hospital. One of her primary passions is supporting mothers in learning to breastfeed their infants. She enjoys taking the time to understand Moms’ goals in regards to the feeding plan and helping to shape an experience that lays the foundation for positive and hopefully successful breastfeeding experiences for both the infant and mother.

Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP is a neonatologist in Fort Worth, Texas and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth and Cook Children’s Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas. Dr. Hamilton Spence completed a Pediatric Internship, Residency and a Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatrics as well as Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. She has been in practice for 13 years. She is also a passionate breastfeeding advocate and volunteers as the President of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.

0-5 min: Introduction to topic
5-25 min: Literature review
25-56 min: Discuss breastfeeding intervention strategies
56-60 min: Learning assessment

Kristin Taylor, OTR, CNT, CLC
Financial Disclosures: No relevant disclosures.
Nonfinancial disclosures: No relevant disclosures.

Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP
Financial Disclosures: No relevant disclosures.
Nonfinancial disclosures: Volunteer Medical Director of the Mothers’ Milk Band of Texas.

Conflict of Interest: There is no conflict of interest for anyone with the ability to control content for this activity.

Target Audience: OT, SLP, PT, RN, MD, and Neonatal professionals

Level: Intermediate


  1. Discuss the evidence base for improved outcomes with breastmilk feeds in the NICU.
  2. Explain the functional differences between breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
  3. Describe the neonatal therapist’s role in the support and assessment of breastfeeding.

Instructional Method: Recorded webinar, lecture, videos, case studies, and handouts. Learning assessment and course evaluation follow course.

Course Completion Requirements: The learner must view the entire webinar, complete the course evaluation and complete the post webinar learning assessment with at least 80% to receive education credit. Login and logout times will be recorded and documented.
Following completion of this course physical therapists, nurses and other disciplines will receive a certificate of completion and a zip file containing information necessary to submit to their individual state for education credit. Zip file will include course bibliography. Physical therapists are responsible for knowing and adhering to their state’s deadlines, rules and regulations.

Registration information:

In order to obtain access to the course, click the “Buy now” button at the top of the screen.

For ADA accommodations, please call NANT Customer Service for more information at (866) 999-5524.

Cancellation Policy: Click HERE to review NANT’s Course Cancellation Policy.


Continuing Education Information


AOTA CEUs: National Association of Neonatal Therapists® (NANT) is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. This Distance-Learning Independent Course is offered at 0.1 CEUs (Intermediate level, Occupational Therapy Service Delivery). AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

ASHA CEUs: Learners must complete the entire course in order to receive ASHA CEUs. No partial credit awarded. ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.
ASHA CE Registry users: NANT will submit your ASHA CEU credit to ASHA on your behalf. ASHA CEUs may take up to 100 days to appear on your ASHA Transcript.

Non-ASHA CE Registry users: Maintain your course records and please keep your registry status current in your NANT account. Update your NANT account with your ASHA number if your registry status changes. NANT is not responsible for tracking your registry usage.

PT CE Credit: This activity has been approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 1.00 CCUs for PTs and PTAs.
NANT is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education.

Questions regarding CE credit should be directed to the National Association of Neonatal Therapists at or (866) 999-5524.

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