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Keywords

bottle feeding, breastfeeding, evidence-based, infant, premature, protocol, nursing practice

 

Authors

  1. Premji, Shahirose S. PhD, RN (EP)
  2. McNeil, Deborah A. MN, RN
  3. Scotland, Jeanne MN, RN (EP)

Abstract

The Calgary Health Region Neonatal Oral Feeding Protocol is the culminating work of a broad range of healthcare professionals, including staff nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse managers, dietitians, lactation consultants, clinical nurse specialists, and occupational therapists. The protocol represents a synthesis of research evidence and expert opinion pertaining to the introduction and management of oral milk feedings for high-risk infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. This evidence-based neonatal oral feeding protocol is presented to share knowledge and skill required to create positive feeding experiences while assisting high-risk infants to achieve full oral feedings. Goals of this project include promoting consistent neonatal nursing feeding practices and changing the ethos in relation to feeding interactions between caregiver and infant in the neonatal intensive care unit. This culture change will assist nurses to identify what is unique about their professional practice, which is of particular importance given the skill mix resulting from hospital understaffing and a growing nursing workforce shortage.