With preterm births soaring—and tinier preemies surviving—many hospitals are redesigning their neonatal units to provide environments closer to those babies experience in utero, the New York Times reports. The new rooms are darker and quieter, and provide space for skin-to-skin contact with parents (not to speak of places for parents to sleep).
The goal is to provide a more intimate relationship with the mother while the infant continues to develop. Preliminary studies have shown improved progress with the individual-family model of care. “One of our major goals,” one trainer in individualized care said, “is to bring the mother, the father and the baby as close as possible together again,because they really have been ripped apart.”