Neonatal Care Academy

World Prematurity Day – A Plea for Family Centered Care


Thomas Kühn, MD
Assistant Medical Director –
Neonatology Vivantes Centre of Perinatology

A Plea for Family Centered Care

Preterm infants are fetuses who develop in extra uterine settings at a time when their brains are growing more rapidly than at any other time throughout their life span.

Developmental care for preterm as well as sick newborns focuses on minimizing invasive procedures in a controlled handling scheme. It should guarantee appropriate neurosensory stimuli for the infants and their rapid developing brain structures.

There is a culture change in modern NICU´s, from a paternalistic approach to a family-centered care model. Parents are involved in the care of their infant and have an active role in the most difficult period of life for the whole family. In the future, strategies to reduce perinatal morbidity and mortality will include a main focus on psychosocial interventions.

At the end of this presentation the attendee will understand:

  • The concept that in a NICU, developmental care equates to family centered care
  • Parents should be encouraged to take care of their hospitalized infant as primary caregivers
  • The default position is that mothers and infants are not separated
  • Modern NICU’s take care of the whole family
  • Psychosocial interventions and parental support are promising measures to improve outcomes of preterm babies

Click the Play Button to launch this FREE Online Learning Training Session.

Duration |  1 hour


Thomas Kühn received his medical training at Humboldt University (1979-1985) and Free University Berlin (1986-1989). He earned his doctor in practice at the Klinikum Neukoelln Berlin – Department of Pediatrics, and his pediatric Specialty training at Vivantes Klinikum Berlin Neukoelln – Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Kühn is the Assistant Medical Director in the Intensive Care Unit/Neonatology at Vivantes Center of Perinatology, Berlin- Neukoelln. He is a volunteer medical consultant for Kindergesundheitshaus e.V – a family centered volunteer organization for follow-up care after hospitalization. Furthermore, Dr. Kühn provides workshops in different fields of neonatology at the “Neotrainer” Training Company (www.neotrainer.de).

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