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How parents can help reduce and manage procedural pain in the NICU

In the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), ill and preterm babies face a number of unpleasant and painful procedures, such as heel sticks to obtain blood samples, attachment and removal of EEG, or an eye examination. There are a number of methods how parents can help to reduce pain and anxiety in their baby, and a recent study from Finland1 examined the different methods, their benefits, and how widely they are practiced. In previous studies, non-pharmacological methods have been shown…
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Experts call for father- and family-friendly processes in the neonatal units

The importance of bonding between mother and child is widely known, but a recent literature review paper[1], published in the Journal of Neonatal Nursing, shows that the bonding between father and child and the co-parenting of mother and father seem to be equally important. According to the authors of The Family Initiative’s International Neonatal Fathers Working Group, there is evidence that including fathers and engaging mothers and fathers as a team is beneficial to the whole family. Unfortunately, fathers are…
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Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids might be associated with a higher risk of preterm birth

For decades, there were ongoing discussions whether a high intake of fatty acids, either by eating more sea fish or by taking fish oil supplements, can reduce the risk of preterm birth, and different studies produced different results. A new study [1], published in the journal EBioMedicine, now suggests that there might be a connection between low levels of fatty acids in the blood and preterm birth. In the new study from Olsen SF et al. , researchers looked at…
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EPICE/SHIPS consortium provides new knowledge on breast milk feeding of very preterm infants in Europe

On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week 2018, we are happy to share these recent findings regarding practices of breastfeeding preterm infants. As a proud partner within the EPICE/SHIPS research consortium EFCNI is happy to present newest results on breast milk feeding outcomes in European NICUs and after discharge. Two publications using data of a Europe-wide cohort of very preterm infants investigated manifold factors associated with breastfeeding rate and duration after discharge. Due to the benefits of breast milk for…
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First RECAP preterm-related publication is out – a meta-analysis on the association of preterm birth and adult markers of wealth

RECAP preterm proudly announces that a first research paper is published now in Pediatrics: Bilgin, Mendonca & Wolke performed a metanalysis investigating whether preterm birth and low birth weight are associated with markers of wealth in adulthood. A prospective longitudinal and registry study containing reports on selected wealth-related outcomes in preterm or low-birth-weight-born adults compared with term-born controls was conducted. To compile the database the authors searched Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Embase and could include 23 studies…
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Regenerative Therapies for sick term and preterm born infants

An interview with Professor Mario Rüdiger, Professor for Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine, Head of Department at the Neonatal Research Group at the University Hospital Dresden, Germany What was the idea behind the planned project? In the past decades, improvements in feto-neonatal care have significantly reduced mortality. Long-term morbidity however, still represents a major problem. Most prominent disease entities with a feto-neonatal origin are chronic lung disease of preterm infants, sepsis and brain injury. Though affecting hundred thousands of patients…
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Obesity in children and adolescents: a growing global health challenge

The number of obese children and adolescents has risen dramatically in the past four decades, reveals a large study that was published in The Lancet in October 2017. Although more children and adolescents worldwide are moderately or severely underweight than obese at this time, the situation will reverse by 2022 if the current trend continues. The rise in obesity is of great concern, as excessive body weight in childhood and adolescence is associated with…
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Breastfeeding during vaccinations reduces pain

Essential, but painful: needles are used for babies’ early childhood vaccinations and medical care during childhood illnesses. They cause distress for the babies and often also for their parents and caregivers, and can result in future anxiety and fear about needles. Researchers around Harrison et al. examined if breastfeeding reduces vaccination pain in babies aged 1 to 12 months. The results were published in the Cochrane Database for Systematic Review.  In an intervention review in February 2016, the Canadian scientists searched…
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