Infant- and family-centred developmental care
Developmental support consists of a variety of intervention strategies in addition to medical care, to protect and promote the growth and development of a baby. Developmental care includes among others the control of external stimuli, specific supportive behavioural techniques such as the positioning of the baby, skin-to-skin care, or the integration of parents in care activities and in the decision-making regarding the baby’s treatment and care.
Developmentally supportive care creates a neonatal unit environment that minimises stress for the baby, the parents and healthcare professionals. It reduces pain and provides a developmentally appropriate sensory experience for the individual baby.
Individualised approaches to family-centred care, where every baby and every family is cared for according to the individual needs, may be more suitable for the child and the family and are based on observation.
Studies suggest that babies who receive developmentally supportive care may stay in hospital for less time and gain weight better.