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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures

Babies With Suckling Dysfunction: Assessment and Coordination of Care

by Leslie R. Kowalski, PhD, IBCLC
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP, 1 Nurse Contact Hours, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU
  • Handout: Yes

IBCLCs assess chest/breast and bottle feeding skills and infant’s oral and body anatomy, and the motions that contribute to, or inhibit, the process of feeding as well as post-feeding comfort (digestion and elimination for infant, breast comfort for parent). When infants present with feeding dysfunction, the root of the issue could be from a variety of sources - effects of in utero positioning, prematurity, effects of birth interventions, tight frenulum (ties), asymmetric/tense muscles/fascia, neurological/ reflexive issues, low/high muscular tone, or suckling discoordination, suck-swallow-breathe discoordination, laryngomalacia, compensations for low supply, cleft lip/palate, and more. IBCLCs help families navigate the differential assessment of feeding dysfunction, and at the same time support the family’s feeding and milk supply choices.

This presentation will examine the role of the IBCLC when suckling dysfunction is occurring - for example aiding with latch and bottle feeding, oral/body exercises, referrals for oral evaluations and/or bodywork, or help with frenotomy pre/post work if needed. IBCLCs adjust the care plan as the infant’s feeding skills and parents’ goals grow and change. Developing the skills to aid oral function, and coordinate with specialized practitioners to aid this process, is crucial in order to determine the best course of clinical care, meet the families needs, and allow for the best possible outcome.

Learning Objectives:

1.Explain the process for assessing infant oral and body anatomy and motions, and how they may impact feeding.

2. Describe the skills needed to aid dysfunction (at the breast, while bottle feeding, oral exercises).

3. Describe the ongoing assessments that are needed through the course of care to allow for adjustments in the care plan.

Presentations: 6  |  Hours / CE Credits: 6  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks