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J Perinatol. 2017 Dec;37(12):1259-1264. doi: 10.1038/jp.2017.108. Epub 2017 Aug 10.

The neonatal intensive parenting unit: an introduction.

Author information

1
St. John's Regional Medical Center, Oxnard, CA, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
3
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, Loma Linda, CA, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.
5
School of Occupational Therapy, Brenau University, Gainesville, GA, USA.
6
Family Advocacy Network, National Perinatal Association, Austin, TX, USA.
7
Newborn Intensive Care Unit, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
8
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Salem Hospital, Salem, OR, USA.

Abstract

This paper describes a paradigm shift occurring in neonatal intensive care. Care teams are moving from a focus limited to healing the baby's medical problems towards a focus that also requires effective partnerships with families. These partnerships encourage extensive participation of mothers and fathers in their baby's care and ongoing bi-directional communication with the care team. The term Newborn Intensive Parenting Unit (NIPU) was derived to capture this concept. One component of the NIPU is family-integrated care, where parents are intimately involved in a baby's care for as many hours a day as possible. We describe six areas of potentially better practices (PBPs) for the NIPU along with descriptions of NIPU physical characteristics, operations, and a relationship-based culture. Research indicates the PBPs should lead to improved outcomes for NIPU babies, better mental health outcomes for their parents, and enhanced well-being of staff.

PMID:
28796241
PMCID:
PMC5718987
DOI:
10.1038/jp.2017.108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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