Inauguration S. Thoyre
The central position of the family in caring for children who have difficulty eating
This presentation will describe a guided participation approach to supporting families and very preterm infants to gain competence in the challenging activity of early feeding. While learning to eat, and in the months that follow, very preterm infants are in a unique developmental period of feeding skill development, which requires understanding and support of emergent systems that are dynamically coalescing to accomplish feeding. Within a guided participation approach to care, families learn to observe and give meaning to infant communication so their care matches the needs of their child and builds their sense of self as a supportive and sensitive caregiver.