Making infant- and family-centred developmental care a reality – constructions for a family room well underway at Dritter Orden hospital in Munich

Implementing infant- and family-centred developmental care at hospitals not only depends on the staff’s support of more inclusive practices. It also requires physical changes in how buildings are constructed and how rooms are partitioned and furnished. These changes can be fairly costly and often take time to implement because financial and architectural challenges must be considered and negotiated first.


This is why we are delighted to report that the Munich hospital Dritter Orden has been able to undertake such a construction project aimed at furthering infant- and family-centred developmental care in its neonatal unit. Thanks, in part, to a generous private donation via EFCNI, the hospital is establishing a special family room, aimed at providing a safe and inviting space to families whose baby is currently receiving medical care at the neonatal unit.

Constructions are well underway and so far, the room has been painted and new flooring has been put in. The staff already selected guideline-conforming furniture for the room as well, meaning that the furniture is, among other things, easy to clean and does not make too much noise to ensure that hygiene and noise protocols are followed. After discussions, the staff also decided on a bigger table with four to six chairs to facilitate conversations and consultations in bigger groups – or to give parents an opportunity to enjoy a quiet meal while in the hospital wing. Moreover, the staff is planning to purchase one or two smaller sofas with a coffee table to create a comfortable lounging area in one corner of the room.

© Helmut Wolf

The hospital was able to initiate this project thanks to a generous donation by Dr Helmut Wolf, a retired manager at a pharmaceutical company. For Dr Wolf, the topics of newborn health, preterm birth, and infant- and family-centred developmental care are issues he encountered repeatedly during his career. Learning about the individual challenges and struggles faced by families with babies born too soon or too ill was always an emotional experience for him.

This is why he knew he wanted to do more to help preterm born babies and their families and decided to team up with EFCNI. For his 70th birthday, he asked that, in lieu of birthday presents, family, friends, and colleagues donate to EFCNI instead. The response was immediate and enthusiastic, leading to Dr Wolf becoming a true “EFCNI Bodyguard” in our donation programme. When told what his donation would be used for, Dr Wolf was delighted: it has gone towards supporting the construction project at the hospital Dritter Orden in Munich.

©Klinikum Dritter Orden

Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, constructions had to be temporarily halted and are now somewhat delayed. We will provide an update and post pictures once renovations are finished. In the meantime, we want to say thank you again to Dr Wolf for contributing in such a vital way towards providing high-quality infant- and family-centred developmental care in Munich.