Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Kristi Frisbee

Second Advisor

Dr. Trina Larery

Third Advisor

Dr. Shawnee Hendershot


This project sought to increase healthcare providers’ responsive feeding education to parents of newborns at a community health center in Southeast Kansas. An educational offering was held for participating providers who provided health services throughout infancy. The offering reviewed the projects’ methodology, instruments, and intervention to increase responsive feeding education. Parents of newborns who met the inclusion criteria and who presented for an initial newborn visit with their healthcare provider were invited to participate. Parents completed surveys prior to receiving education at the initial appointment and the a follow-up survey at the infant’s two-month well child appointment to analyze parental feeding style beliefs and behaviors.

The project’s findings indicated that not all parents receive education on responsive feeding prior to their initial appointment despite current responsive feeding guidelines, and there was a high degree of mobility in the population. Future projects may seek to analyze feeding education in birthing centers and programs that incorporate care to newborns and infants.

Healthcare providers’ current practice of educating parents on responsive feeding were low prior to implementing the project’s methodology which increased parental education on responsive feeding. The only significant change to pre and post parental feeding styles was an increase in restrictive and indulgent feeding behaviors at the two-month follow up. No significant change was found among the other styles. Higher beliefs of Laissez-Faire style were correlated to decreased weight gain in infants at their follow up compared to other feeding styles. No significant change was found at follow up with an already high agreement on responsive feeding style among parents. The project’s findings indicated that parents of newborns need more education on the importance of feeding styles throughout infancy. Findings further supported a need for more feeding education among healthcare professionals in direct positions providing education to parents of infants. Further research is needed to analyze providers’ knowledge of responsive feeding guidelines and the importance and significance that feeding practices play in the prevention of childhood obesity.