Early Intervention Benefits Premature Infants

By Andrea Bernier, BSN, RN, CLC February 10, 2023

Early Intervention Benefits Premature Infants 




Early Intervention (EI) Services have been proven to be extremely beneficial to the growth and development of premature infants. EI provides assistance for preemies born at any gestational age with a variety of services.  The Professional Center for Child Development offers support from Nurses, Occupational, Physical, and Speech and Language Therapists as well as assistance from a Lactation Counselor, Family Workers, Developmental Specialists, and Feeding Therapists.   


Our nurses are able to assist families whose children may have medical needs by consulting with physicians and specialists, and occasionally accompanying families to medical appointments. Nurses also provide support regarding the medical needs of the child by facilitating referrals from the pediatrician, educating families on the equipment they are using, and helping to answer questions the family may have.  Our Occupational therapists assist with feeding from early on.  This includes assistance with learning to drink from a bottle, focusing on suck, swallow, and breathing coordination.  They also make recommendations on sizes of bottles, appropriate nipples, and techniques for successful feeding. Physical therapists along with occupational therapists focus on motor skill development, including, improving head control, and supporting proper positioning to assist preemies in reaching the infants' motor milestones.   


PCCD Early Intervention also offers...  

* Infant massage to support preemies who may benefit from massage to decrease muscle tightness, improve quality of sleep and decrease irritability.   

* Lactation consulting is also a benefit for preemies to help families who are nursing or have concerns or questions regarding nursing. The lactation consultant can assist with effective latching, devising a plan with families who may have questions about the frequency of feeds, pumping in between feeds, and strategies to increase the milk supply.  

* Access to family workers to assist families who may be experiencing stress that can occur when caring for a premature infant. Family workers can also assist with accessing community and medical resources for families and connecting families with other families who are caring for a preemie.    


~ Andrea Bernier, BSN, RN, CLC
Andrea is a Nurse in the PCCD
Early intervention Program.