Single-Family Room NICUs Benefit Babies

Most of us do not have access to a single-family room (SFR) style NICU. But a recent study in Pediatrics certainly makes it seem worth advocating for! The study reveals significant benefits for infants in NICUs with single-family rooms compared to infants in shared, open-bay arrangements. The SFR babies weighed more at discharge, gained weight more rapidly, required fewer medical procedures, had increased attention, and had less stress, lethargy and pain. According to the study’s lead author, the privacy, lighting, and having nurses who work one-on-one with the mothers in the SFR facility made for a more relaxed environment. Further, he explains, “there’s more maternal involvement than in the open bay and more maternal involvement leads to better behavioral and medical outcomes.”

Routine Bed Rest No Longer Advocated    Please check with your doctor. Many perinatogists for HOM pregnancies DO advise bed rest.

Were you on bed rest during your pregnancy? It has long been recommended for a number of potential complications, such as preterm contractions, short cervix, preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, placenta previa, and multiple gestation. The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recently released a new guideline that recommends against the routine use of bed rest in pregnancy. The recent guideline references the results of several studies that did not find an improvement in maternal or neonatal outcomes with the use of activity restriction, but did find an increase in maternal morbidity. The guideline cites numerous side effects of restricted activity including loss of muscle and bone mass, cardiovascular capacity, and an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Thanks to our friends at the National Premature Infant Health Coalition for passing along this information!