March 7, 2018 – Parents in the NICU


Anchor lead: When parents take a role in the NICU, babies do better, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Parents who’ve been carefully trained by staff in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU can successfully help care for their critically ill infants, a recent study in the Lancet showed. Renee Boss, an expert in the care of such infants at Johns Hopkins, describes the study.

Boss: They even had parents do some charting of how the baby was growing or what their development was, so it was a really nice way of integrating care. I think what was intriguing about this study was that the babies were a little sicker than in some of the other studies and still what they found was that the families loved it, and the babies grew better and the babies breastfed better and the families in the end were much happier with the experience, and nothing bad happened.  :28

Boss notes that parents in this study committed to spending 6 hours each day in the NICU with their babies, something many moms and dads simply cannot do, and that the NICU staff were also specially trained to educate parents. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.