Did you know Family Integrated Care improves weight gain and high frequency breastfeeding while also decreasing parental anxiety and stress?
In the 2018 study by O’Brien and colleagues, entitled Effectiveness of Family Integrated Care in Neonatal Intensive Care Units on Infant and Parent Outcomes: a Multicentre, Multinational, Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial, researchers compared the differences between implementing Family Integrated Care (FICare) to standard NICU care. Nearly 2000 preterm infants born less than 33 weeks GA were enrolled from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Hospitals were randomly assigned to either a FICare group or control group receiving standard NICU care. Those families enrolled in the FICare group had to commit to be present at least 6 hours/day, attend educational sessions, and actively care for their infant. The study revealed that those infants enrolled in the FICare group had a higher overall weight gain, daily weight gain and frequency of exclusively breastfeeding! Additionally, the parents in the FICare group had lower stress and anxiety.
Families are truly part of our assignment when caring for infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. By educating families on how to hold their child skin-to-skin, massage their child, provide a swaddled bath, recognize their child’s cues, and so much more, we are able to build a foundation that will last a lifetime and directly impact the baby’s NICU admission. Learn more about how you can improve your skills in these areas to begin teaching families HERE!