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Researchers from Northwestern University are developing the NICU2Home app for parents with children who are born prematurely. The app is currently in the research stage. This app is to help parents with children born prematurity transition from hospital care to caring for their infants by themselves.

NICU2Home gives parents confidence

Past studies have found that such apps help boost confidence for parents caring for premature infants. They help them adjust up to one month after returning home from the hospital.

The app is a valuable tool for parents as reports indicate that parents in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be under stress. This stress can come from learning a vast amount of information about the feeding patterns, preparatory levels, and changing weights of their babies. This can be a significant change for them as they have to adjust to more than the sleep deprivation that other parents have.

Researchers tested the app

Researchers tested the app on a group of parents with premature infants. The parents stated that they had an easier time adjusting to caring for their babies when using NICU2Home. Parents who acted as the control group did not use this app. This group had a more challenging time adapting. Moreover, the researchers found that the more parents used the app, the more confidence they felt caring for their babies.

According to Dr. Craig Garfield, a medical social sciences and pediatric professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, while parents are still in NICU, they receive a lot of help from professionals in holding, bathing, and feeding the baby.

Dr. Garfield adds that most parents aren’t comfortable taking care of the babies because they are connected to tubes and tiny. Fortunately, this app helps to prepare the parents to be as prepared as they can be by filling in gaps when they are distracted and stressed.

Dr. Garfield also noted that most parents are NICU feel overwhelmed, stressed, and tired at NICU. For this reason, they have a difficult time taking in the information from healthcare providers. Fortunately, NICU2Home gives them more personalized information for caring for their babies.

The information in the app includes common health problems and development issues. It even has video demonstrations of feeding and swaddling.