The survival rates for babies born prematurely have greatly improved. But premature babies are at high risk of later in life developing learning difficulties and behavioural problems. Their brains are smaller than the brain of full-term babies. For some unknown reason their brains continue to develop more slowly.Recent research suggests that training parents to recognise signs of stress may improve their babies’ brain development. There is some links between stress and brain development during the first year and teaching parents to interact with their babies differently may have a positive effect on the child’s development. Parents can learn to read the stress signals of their baby. Reading premature babies’ signals is difficult and subtle changes in colour tone or breathing may indicate stress. Premature babies are sensitive to changes in the environment and having a bath may be a stressful experience.
The parents were taught to soothe babies by using skin-to skin contact and gentle massage. Choosing the right moment for using these techniques is vital and the parent were taught when to employ them (go here to read more).
Photo: “Infant Hand And Mother Hand” by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot