Knowledge and Understanding
  • Similarities and differences in the composition of human milk and infant formulas.

  • Factors that facilitate or hinder successful breastfeeding.

  • Methods for overcoming barriers to breastfeeding, both at home and after the mother returns to work or school.

  • Practical information about breastfeeding techniques, such as positioning the baby.

  • Conditions that require the physician's attention, including early signs of mastitis, dehydration of the infant, abnormally slow infant growth, or unadvised discontinuation of a prescription medicine.

  • Nutrient requirements of normal infants at each stage of development and appropriate ways to provide those nutrients.

  • Neuromuscular development related to the appropriate times for the introduction of solid foods and the emergence of self-feeding.

  • Safety precautions for formula preparation.

Assessment Skills
  • Obtain a current feeding history.

  • Identify barriers to the continuation of breastfeeding.

  • Identify the mother's strengths and the resources available to her—to serve as a basis for a constructive plan of care.

  • Accurately measure the infant and monitor his or her weight and length.

  • Detect abnormal growth and developmental patterns.

  • Determine the need for adjustments in the feeding program.

  • Identify the need for referral for special nutritional care for the infant.

Health Maintenance Skills
  • Provide nutrition education and counseling that is appropriate for the feeding method chosen. This may include information regarding the management of successful breastfeeding, hygienic measures for the safe handling and feeding of formula and supplementary foods, the appropriate use of infant formula, the indications for and safe use of nutrient supplements, the supplementation of breastfeeding or formula with other foods or fluids, the prevention of baby bottle-mouth syndrome, or any combination of these.

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