What professionals are saying...
Erin Ross led a tremendous and dynamic workshop
Enhanced my skills
Erin is an excellent presenter
I learned many new things about specialized bottle feeding.
This course is phenomenal!
Knowledgeable and supportive of our team
Thank you so much for sharing your time with us.
Erin took time to understand
Welcome to the professionals section of our site. This section of our site is provided for healthcare professionals seeking to increase their knowledge about Feeding Fundamentals and SOFFISM. Stay tuned as we will be adding membership information soon.
If you want to learn more about what information is available to professionals, simply keep reading. Thanks for your interest.
All three components are influenced by maturity and experience.
SKILL refers to the ability to suck, swallow and breathe without a loss of baseline stability.
EFFICIENCY describes the integration of suction and compression. As suction develops, volumes increase.
ENDURANCE describes the ability to remain alert and engaged to eat required volumes. Endurance is typically the last of these three components to emerge.
NEW! SOFFISM Trained Clinician Database. If you are a healthcare professional who has previously attended a SOFFISM Training course, we invite you to join our closed group for all SOFFISM trained professionals on Facebook. Details will be sent to your inbox in early Summer 2019. Stay tuned!
Our commitment is to infants and their families, and the professionals working with them. We will continue to work hard to 'change the conversation' to one focused on the quality of the infant’s oral feeding skill development. - Dr. Erin Ross, Ph.D. President, Feeding Fundamentals and author of SOFFISM.
We strongly believe oral feeding for infants is a neurobehavioral task; one that begins as the premature and medically fragile infant who continues to grow and develop in the NICU setting, and well after discharge. We believe the NICU environment can build a strong foundation for the infants lifetime of eating experiences.
Historically, feeding interventions offered to infants in the NICU have been concentrated on accelerating the acquisition of oral feeding milestones and on the steady increase of volume intake at each successive oral feeding attempt.
Quality feedings are defined ideally as enjoyable experiences for both the infant and the feeder, during which the infants eats sufficient volumes for appropriate growth.
For both premature and medically fragile infants, quality feedings can be described across three parameters: Skill, Efficiency, and Endurance.
Once quality feedings are established, the ability to display quality eating skills consistently is the last hurdle from a feeding standpoint, prior to going home.
Typically, quantity is a reflection and an outcome of quality feedings. It is not "Quantity versus Quality"....
"Quality leads to Quantity."
Premature infants are developing the foundation skills (both oral-motor and physiologic) and expectations MUST be framed within that developmental window. Mature, but medically fragile infants, may often possess the requisite oral-motor skills; however, their underlying physiologic instability often interferes with their ability to experience quality feeding experiences.
HOMEOSTASIS: THE CORE FOUNDATION OF LEARNING
Homeostasis: The ability to maintain internal regulation in the face of incoming challenges (internal and external).
Feeding is a developmental skill that challenges the homeostasis of the infant. Initially, infants focus their attention inward - towards stabilizing their physiologic systems (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygenation, digestion).
Motor skills and abilities (flexion, movement, tone) reflect the infant's striving towards homeostasis, as does their behavioral state (level of arousal and alertness.)
As the infant achieves some level of homeostasis, they are freed up to turn some of their attention and interaction outwards - towards learning new tasks and achieving a new level of homeostasis. In this context, the feeder can monitor the infant's baseline stability across these subsystems, as described in the Synactive Theory of Behavioral Organization.
While learning any new task, a small perturbation in the baseline stability is expected. However, if the disruption in baseline stability is too great, the infant may avoid learning the new task in support of their more stable level of functioning.
WITHIN THIS CONTEXT, FEEDING SKILLS CAN BE NURTURED CAREFULLY.