Navigating the Transition to Solids: The Experiences of Parents of Preterm Infants

April 13, 2023 12:15 pm

Presentation Summary

The introduction to solids is an important transition with implications for long-term feeding development. Parents of premature infants were interviewed about how they navigated this complex period. Resources, misinformation, and decision-making processes are explored with the goal of improving the proactive feeding support parents receive from healthcare providers.

Learning Objective

Participants will describe parent experiences around introducing solid foods and apply parent preferences to their clinical work.


  • Kelsey Thompson

    Kelsey Thompson MS, CCC-SLP

    Kelsey Thompson is a doctoral candidate in the Speech & Hearing Sciences program in the School of Medicine at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. KelseyShe is experienced in quantitative, biobehavioral, qualitative, and mixed methods research. In addition, Kelsey continues to practice as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in her private practice in North Carolina.

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  • Hayley Estrem

    Hayley Estrem PhD, MSN, RN

    Hayley Estrem is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her primary research interests aim to improve family-centered care for children with PFD and/or developmental disabilities. In her research program, Hayley combines patient centered outcomes measure development, multi-method integration, qualitative methods, and the goal of family-centered care for infants and children with special health care needs. Her work started with concept analysis of pediatric feeding problems and measure development and she works with interdisciplinary teams to build evidence that addresses the needs of families and children with PFD. She is a member of the Feeding Matters Research Initiatives Task Force and has a child with PFD who inspired her to pursue a career in feeding research.

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  • Jinhee Park

    Jinhee Park PhD, RN

    Jinhee Park is an associate professor at the Boston College Connell School of Nursing. Jinhee's clinical background is in neonatal nursing. Her research focuses on improving the understanding of feeding problems among vulnerable infants and young children, with an overall goal of supporting their health and developmental outcomes, and helping families manage their complex feeding needs. She has conducted a series of studies to advance science in the health care of infants and young children with feeding problems utilizing a multi-method approach, which includes biobehavioral methods (the integration of physiology and behavioral observation), advanced quantitative analytic methods (trajectory analysis, latent class analysis), mixed methods, symptom science, and the development of measures. Her current work is focused on developing and testing interventions to reduce feeding difficulties in infants with complex medical conditions, including a current trial testing the biobehavioral efficacy of the semi-elevated side-lying position for feeding preterm infants.

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  • Suzanne Thoyre

    Suzanne Thoyre PhD, RN, FAAN

    Suzanne Thoyre is a Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the development of early oral feeding of typically developing children, young children with Down syndrome, infants who have had surgery for complex cardiac conditions, and preterm infants. She co-developed a clinician-based assessment tool for early infant feeding skills (the Early Feeding Skills tool; EFS); this tool is used internationally to support the clinical care of infants who are vulnerable to developing chronic feeding disorders. She is the co-founder of Feeding Flock, an interdisciplinary research team focused on management and prevention of feeding problems of infants and young children. Recently her team extended feeding assessment to the post-discharge period with the development of six parent-report assessment tools. These tools measure symptoms of problematic feeding, oral and motor feeding skills, parent perception of the impact feeding problems have on themselves and their families, and parent assessment of family management of feeding problems. A recently awarded R01 will use these tools to extend our understanding of the development of feeding problems of children with complex medical disorders from birth through 2 years of age.

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