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

Wonderful speakers with incredibly useful and applicable information for clinical practice!
– Kristen Groot, PT

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, this presentation provides both evidence and practical application for your NICU practice within a collaborative model.

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

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.

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

CE Credit: 1 hour – OT, PT, SLP, RN

Fee: $57 or FREE for NANT Members

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.

Colleague Feedback: (Kristen Taylor was)…An excellent speaker who spoke candidly about the struggles many of us face in dealing with supporting and promoting early breast feeding in the NICU. She provided good information and suggestions. (Dr. Spence)…provided current research about pumping that will definitely change how we educate our NICU mommas. – Darlene Bickett, OT

I got some great problem-solving tools/techniques from this talk. Great information! – Grace Briceno M.A. CCC-SLP

Click Here to access the course.