Closeness and separation in the NICU

There are two types of closeness between parents and their baby in the NICU – physical closeness and emotional closeness. The two often go together but not always – for example a parent may be physically close to the baby but feel emotionally distant. Closeness can be fostered by skin-to-skin contact, developmental care, and other interventions to involve parents in the infant’s care, and can influence the baby’s emotional and cognitive development. It also has benefits for the parents. The physical structure of the NICU is also important in promoting closeness, and single-family-room NICUs have many advantages over open-bay NICUs.

Closeness and separation in the NICU. Flacking 2012.