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Leslie Parker - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Leslie Parker

Associate Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Leslie Parker’s research focuses on the nutrition of premature infants, with an emphasis on providing breast milk to infants in the NICU.


Leslie Parker’s research focuses on the nutrition of premature infants, with an emphasis on providing breast milk to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Leslie is board certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner by the National Certification Corporation and she has an active practice in the NICU at UF Health.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Breast Milk

Premature Infants



Media Appearances (3)

UF research refutes routine procedure used on premature babies

The Independent Florida Alligator  online


Dr. Leslie Parker, the study’s principal investigator, works as a neonatal nurse practitioner in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UF Health Shands. The procedure, called a gastric residual evaluation, has been in use for decades to measure how much food premature infants are digesting, Parker said, but after the results of the study, UF Health isn’t using the procedure anymore.

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UF nursing researcher’s findings upend routine feeding procedure for pre-term infants

University of Florida Health  online


“The significance of these findings is that we can omit a routine procedure that is done eight to 12 times a day on extremely pre-term infants taking place in neonatal intensive care units in this country and around the world,” said Leslie Parker, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, an associate professor at the UF College of Nursing and the principal investigator on the study, recently published in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Leslie Parker Named Faculty Mentor of the Year

University of Florida Health  online


Clinical Associate Professor Leslie Parker, PhD, APRN (NNP-BC), FAAN, was selected for the University of Florida Undergraduate Faculty Advising/Mentor Award for 2018/2019. In the nomination letter for Parker, Department Chair and Associate Professor Ann Horgas, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, wrote that Parker “engages students in her research, facilitates their ‘ownership’ of their research projects and builds effective research teams.

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Articles (5)

Feeding Strategies in Preterm Very Low Birth-Weight Infants: State-of-the-Science Review.

Advances in Neonatal Care

Leslie A. Parker, et al.


Providing enteral feeds to preterm very low birth-weight (VLBW) infants is critical to optimize nutrition, enhance growth, and reduce complications. Protocols guiding feeding practices can improve outcomes, but significant variation exists between institutions, which may limit their utility. To be most effective, protocols should be based on the best available evidence.

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Effect of Postpartum Depo Medroxyprogesterone Acetate on Lactation in Mothers of Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants

Breastfeeding Medicine

Leslie A. Parker, et al.


This study examined the effect of postpartum administration of depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) on milk production, time to onset of secretory activation, lactation duration, and infant consumption of mother's own milk (MOM) in mothers of preterm very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants.

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Measures of Lactation Outcomes in Women Delivering Preterm Infants

Nursing Research

Leslie A. Parker, et al.


Mother’s own milk (MOM) is well known to decrease prematurity-related morbidities, yet mothers delivering preterm infants often produce insufficient quantities of milk to provide these benefits. Although a critical need exists for research to support lactation success in this vulnerable population, development and investigation of interventions to increase available MOM for infant consumption requires consistent, valid, and reliable measures of lactation outcomes.

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Frozen Mother’s Own Milk Can Be Used Effectively to Personalize Donor Human Milk

Frontiers in Microbiology

Monica F. Torrez Lamberti, et al.


Feeding preterm infants mother’s own milk (MOM) lowers rates of sepsis, decreases necrotizing enterocolitis, and shortens hospital stay. In the absence of freshly expressed MOM, frozen MOM (FMOM) is provided. When MOM is unavailable, preterm infants are often fed pasteurized donor human milk (DHM), rendering it devoid of beneficial bacteria. We have previously reported that when MOM is inoculated into DHM to restore the live microbiota [restored milk (RM)], a similar microbial diversity to MOM can be achieved.

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Decreasing Admissions to the NICU

Advances in Neonatal Care

Erika L. Baker, Leslie A. Parker and Rana Alissa


Evidence supports the need to decrease healthcare costs. One approach may be minimizing use of low-value care by reducing the number of unnecessary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions through the use of official neonatal transition beds.

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Why Science? Premature Infant Nutrition