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Featured Course: Fluid Matters: Integrating Manual Edema Mobilization within the NICU for Optimal Neuromotor Development

“Detailed discussion and videos of techniques with babies give excellent help in understanding the material rather than just theory. Great knowledge sharing. Thanks!” – Vishaal Parikh, PT, India

“Very informative for the advanced clinician. Appreciate this resource. Extremely valuable in treating our population.” – Angeline Chin, OTR/L, CNT

Speaker: Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS


Topic: Fluid Matters: Integrating Manual Edema Mobilization within the NICU for Optimal Neuromotor Development

Course Description: Edema management for infants in the NICU is a critical skill for the developmental specialist to facilitate infant level of arousal, proper positioning, and proper movement pattern development. Infants born prematurely have a high incidence of chronic lung disease and gastro esophageal reflux disease. These co-morbidities can lead to significant lower trunk and lower extremity dependent edema secondary to elevated positioning or poor fluid mobilization because of inefficient respiratory patterns. This presentation provides you with the initial anatomical/physiological understanding of the development of the lymphatic and integumentary systems. There are patient case examples and video learning of the techniques with a variety of infant populations. A discussion on contraindications and family training for home program is included. Finally, advanced skills for the medically fragile older infant in the NICU are discussed.

Speaker Bio: Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS is an Occupational Therapist who has worked in pediatrics for the past 22 years with the past 15 years in a level IV NICU. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, Certified Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapist, Certified Brain Injury therapist, an active member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and has completed 6-month mentorship in infant/child NDT. She completed her Manual Edema Mobilization training from Sandra Artzberger in 2002. She has integrated lymphatic management into the NICU with positioning, handling, and manual therapy techniques. She consults with clinicians across the country on edema management within the NICU. She has worked within the NICU and NICU follow-up clinic to maximize patient and family outcomes for the most complex premature and medically-fragile term infants. Holly received her bachelors degree in Occupational therapy from the University of North Dakota in 1997. She has dedicated her career to clinical care and advancing developmental care practice patterns for all multidisciplinary team members.

She has presented at many regional and national conferences including NANT, Audrey Harris Vision NICU conference, and the University of Minnesota NICU conference. She provides frequent Developmental Care, Feeding Intervention, and NICU education throughout the country. She is a faculty member for Education Resources and the Neonatal Touch and Massage certification. She is the recipient of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Clinical Excellence award in 2018, due to her clinical expertise and dedication to advancing the therapeutic interventions for NICU infants with cardiopulmonary conditions.

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

Level: Intermediate

CE Credit: OT & SLP – 0.5 hour, PT – 1 hour

Fee: $37 or Free for NANT Members


  1. Verbalize the anatomical/gestational development of the lymphatic and integumentary systems in the premature infant; and its effects on neonatal movement pattern development.
  2. Demonstrate fluid mobilization techniques to utilize with infants for the trunk, upper and lower extremities; to reduce positional and chronic edema.
  3. Identify additional positioning strategies for edema management for infants with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, Congenital Chylothorax, Spinal Muscle Atrophy, and limb anomalies.

Instructional Method: Recorded webinar with case studies and handouts. Learning assessment and course evaluation follow course.

“Love the case studies. I really loved how the outcomes were measurable.” – Kerry Rose, MS, OTR/L

CLICK HERE to access the course.