Pre-Feeding Interventions: Set up for Success

Research has proven that the developing brain is extremely sensitive to incoming stimuli. Extreme preterm infants endure prolonged periods of absent positive experiences coupled with severely negative and painful procedures in their life. This has the potential to cause stress pathways in a reaction to just simple touch and interaction to be perceived as negative. Everything we do or don’t do makes a difference in their quality of life and perceptions of interactions. In addition to protecting the brain and sensory system from noxious stimuli, pain and distress; controlled and well timed positive sensory experiences can stimulate the brain in a way that can help to build organization and facilitate positive learning. This lecture will focus on activities and interventions that can prepare the infant and help to build the foundational skills for positive, successful and enjoyable oral feeding.


1. Describe two ways a baby is developing feeding skills in utero. 2. Identify three neonatal experiences that can negatively affect the premature infant's future feeding skills.

3. Describe three pre-feeding techniques to facilitate the foundation for positive oral feeding skills.

Total CE 1.1

NCC Code NNP 1 or 7 = 1.1

NCC Code NIC 3 or 7 = 1.1

NCC Code LRN 2 or 7 = 1.1

Rx = 0

*This presentation was included in the Small Baby Care Specialist® Program

Last updated: October, 2021

Your Instructor

Karin Mitchell
Karin Mitchell

Karin Mitchell, MA, CCC-SLP, CNT, CLE is a highly respected Speech Language Pathologist specializing in the care and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing, developmental care of the medically fragile infant and child, and pediatric traumatic brain injury. Her love of teaching and helping others drives her to create and deliver fun and empowering continuing education courses that focus on building the participant’s clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness. Expertise includes developmental care in the NICU, developmentally appropriate feeding, pediatric feeding and swallowing analysis and treatment, enhancing decision making and clinical analysis, breast feeding the medically fragile infant and child, and developmental milestones supporting feeding skill acquisition.

Karin serves as a lead therapist for the NICU and Feeding Teams at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA. With a clinical practice formed by a strong theory base in NDT and SI therapies, Karin is also NOMAS trained and holds a specialty certification in VitalStim.

A dedicated leader, Karin devotes much of her time to the support and development of clinicians, serving as a mentor committed to building therapist's skills in clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness with medically fragile patients. She is a strong advocate for her patients and their families and speaks at local associations, community centers, local universities, and school districts to support medically fragile infants and children.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts as soon as you enroll. You will have access to this course (videos) for two months. Please be sure to download lecture handouts for ongoing access to the content presented. You must complete and submit the Evaluation at the end of the course to receive CE.
How can I communicate any questions, comments, or feedback?
We would love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at: [email protected]

Get started now!