Sarah Holdren ’18 and Cynthia Fair publish cross-cultural research on NICU care culture with Finnish collaborator

The recent Elon graduate’s Lumen and Fulbright research was accepted for publication in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal.

Research conducted by a recent Elon alumna in partnership with her mentor and a Finnish collaborator has been published in a peer-reviewed pregnancy and childbirth journal.

Sarah Holdren ’18, an Honors Fellow and Lumen Scholar with majors in anthropology and public health studies, collaborated with Professor Cynthia Fair, Watts-Thompson professor and chair of the Department of Public Health Studies, and Dr. Liisa Lehtonen, Director of the Division of Neonatology, Turku University Hospital and Professor in Pediatrics, University of Turku in Finland.

While completing her Fulbright research, Holdren studied the lived experiences of 15 families hospitalized in a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit in Finland (eight families) and the U.S (seven families).

Results indicated that lactation and infant feedings were framed differently in each country.  In Finland, breastfeeding was a means to connect with the infant whereas in the U.S., breastmilk was only an end to promote infant nutritional health. The article titled  “A Qualitative Cross-Cultural Analysis of NICU Care Culture and Infant Feeding in Finland and the U.S” was published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Holdren is currently completing her master’s degree in narrative medicine at Columbia University.