BOSTON, MA, March 09, 2019 — On March 20, 2019, Boston-based NIDCAP Federation International and 24 international NIDCAP Training Centers are joining together to raise awareness of NIDCAP and its global impact by launching World NIDCAP Day. In honor of the day, Boston's Leonard P. Zakim Bridge and Worcester's Kenneth F. Burns Bridge will be lit in the color teal.
The Newborn Individualized Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) supports infants and their families in and beyond the intensive care unit. When infants are born early or ill, their world within an intensive care nursery is overwhelming – they are exposed to bright lights, cold temperatures, loud sounds, a tangle of tubes, and may experience discomfort and pain. Intense stimuli may interfere with normal development, causing serious health issues later in life. The NIDCAP approach to care individualizes care based on the strengths and needs of each infant and family and creates a supportive, gentle environment, in which the most fragile infants have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
For four decades the NIDCAP community has partnered with families to improve newborn outcomes. NIDCAP recognizes families as the most important influence on the development and well-being of infants. Parents are valued as their infants' advocates, protectors and nurturers.
World NIDCAP Day is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible number of years the NIDCAP community has been actively working, influencing and ensuring a place for NIDCAP within newborn hospital settings all over the world. Celebrating on the same day each year raises attention for NIDCAP and promotes opportunities to discuss why NIDCAP matters!
NIDCAP founder, Heidelise Als, PhD (Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School and Director, Neurobehavioral Infant and Child Studies, Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children's Hospital) wrote: Our organization is comprised of multidisciplinary professionals and of families, who are the best spokespersons for what we do, which is to assure the quality of lives of preterm and vulnerable infants and foster their long-term healthy brain and emotional development.
Parent of a prematurely born daughter and member of the NFI Board of Directors, Mandy Daly stated: Preterm birth disrupts the natural order of parenting and the consequences for the infant and family can be life altering. NIDCAP restores the equilibrium by holding the infant and the family at the heart of the philosophy. It provides that essential bridge that protects neurodevelopment, embraces and responds to the infant's emerging competencies and supports the infant/family relationship. Partnering with families and raising awareness about NIDCAP improves outcomes and ensures that preterm and sick infants can reach their full life potential.
The NIDCAP Federation International oversees an extensive worldwide training program for healthcare professionals. Education is provided to understand and respond to infants' behaviors and support family/infant relationships as critically important for short and long-term health, development and wellbeing. The research-documented benefits of the NIDCAP approach to care include shortened hospital stays, and enhanced infant medical and behavioral health and well-being.
The NFI envisions a global society in which all hospitalized newborns and their families receive care in the evidence-based NIDCAP model. NIDCAP supports development, enhances strengths and minimizes stress for infants, family and staff who care for them. It is individualized and uses a relationship-based, family-integrated approach that yields measurable outcomes.
To learn more about NIDCAP, please watch this short video. For further information about NIDCAP Federation International and how your intensive care nursery may benefit from the NIDCAP program and how you can help further the NFI's mission, please visit www.nidcap.org.
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