A new paradigm for assessment of infant feeding deviation
Author: Rothenbury, Ailsa
Normal child development is slow from birth to 25 years. Since Neolithic times, humans have relied on common sense, learned by trial and error, and mourned infants lost to infection and malnutrition. In recent times, knowledge of the process accelerated with increasing interest in child survival and health improvement. Historically, infant survival relied on breastfeeding until pathogens were identified, food technology developed, and infant/child surveillance commenced within the ethos of public health. Today, universal screening of infants from birth aims to identify deviation from the norm in all areas of development, allowing early intervention and correction. The personal experience of health professionals can be a positive factor in reflective practice, questioning orthodoxy and generating new perspectives and corrective strategies. Clinical settings generate practice-based evidence, a prerequisite for research. This concept of the infant as a primary cause of feeding problems demands consideration of a new paradigm and prompts research.