Implementing Developmental Care
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Connecting with tiny patients:

Implementing developmental care


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Facts about
preterm birth

Every year, an estimated 15 million babies worldwide — or more than 1 in 10 — are born preterm.¹
And every 30 seconds a baby dies of preterm birth.² In fact, preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age, responsible for nearly 1 million deaths in 2013.¹   It is because of these startling statistics that Philips works to raise awareness on the importance of Developmental Care. Preterm infants have special needs, and carefully addressing those needs is key to their survival. They may need help breathing or maintaining body heat. Feeding can be challenging, and jaundice, low blood sugar, and anemia are all possible. They may also have difficulty dealing with stimuli, so the NICU environment is particularly important.

1 in 10 babies
every 30 seconds
15 million babies

Developmental care in the NICU

In addition to meeting the physical needs of infants in the NICU, it is also critical to meet their physiological and developmental needs. Our Integrative Developmental Care Model combines evidence-­based best practices with core measures, and is one tool you can use to guide efforts to facilitate the physiological and developmental needs of each newborn. 


This personalized approach includes educational programs for both mother and family. It also serves as a foundation for our Global Wee Care quality improvement program - a holistic methodology for managing stress and minimizing risk, which aims to provide a calming and soothing atmosphere that involves the whole family.

Now our ward can be completely full and it is still very quiet and peaceful."

Dr. Carola Duijsters, Neonatologist, Maxima Medical Center, Veldhoven/Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Developmental Care in action


Developmental Care: A mother’s experience

a mothers experience

Just as preterm infants must adjust to a world for which they are not yet developmentally prepared, so must their families adjust to an unexpected, and often highly clinical, experience.


Teddy Blomstrom was born at almost 26 weeks. In the months that followed, as his mother Nanine learned about caring for her son, she also learned about Developmental Care in the NICU.


Read more about Nanine’s personal perspective as a mother of a preterm infant. 

Developmental Care webinars

thomas kuhn headshot

Implementing Developmental Care

How does the NICU environment influence patients and parents? Hear current perspectives on implementing Developmental Care from Thomas Kühn, Neonatologist/Consultant at the Vivantes Perinatal Center in Berlin and CEO of Neotrainer. 

dr raylene headshot

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital enhances its NICU environment and caregiving practices

Learn from Dr. Raylene Phillips of Loma Linda how they created a new NICU environment (physical, people, and processes) through nurse training and organizational transformation to improve delivery of care and patient satisfaction. 

Related topics

breast pump

Jaundice affects approximately 80% of preterm newborns, and 60% of all newborns.3

The high percentage of newborns who develop jaundice combined with the move towards shorter stays in the maternity ward requires increasingly innovative ways to diagnose and manage this common condition to avoid readmission.

breast pump

Up to 60% of women who breastfeed stop earlier than they want to4.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age5.  But this very natural act does not come easily to every new mother. So it’s important that parents feel comfortable turning to you for expert advice.

2. Requejo JH, Merialdi M. The global impact of preterm birth. In: Berghella V, ed. Preterm birth: prevention and management. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010:1-7
3. Luke A. Jardine and Paul Woodgate. Clinical Evidence Handbook: Neonatal Jaundice. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Apr 15;85(8):824-825
4. Odom EC, et al. Pediatrics 2013;131:e726
5. World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund. Global strategy for infant and young child feeding. Published 2002. Accessed March 5, 2013

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