Abstract Ref Number = APCP52
How to Improve Growth and Development for High-risk Infants
Mei Neni Sitaresmi
Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, UGM
High-risk infants are prevalent. High-risk infants are defined broadly as including preterm infant, infant with special health care needs or dependence on technology, infant at risk because of family issues, and infant with anticipated early death. High-risk infants are at higher risk for having growth and developmental problems such as cognitive, motor, social–emotional, behavioral, speech- language, and regulatory difficulties into school age and beyond.
To improve growth and development of those infants, early intervention program should be provided as early as possible starting from NICU and continuing after post discharge from hospital. Early intervention program consists of multidisciplinary approaches and it is important the crucial role of parents/ family involvement. Early intervention should include at least 3 aspect: 1) psychosocial support of parents to improve self-efficacy, parental sensitivity (understand their infant’s behavioral cues) and responsiveness in interactions with their babies, 2) educational interventions to improve parental knowledge and abilities in taking care of their children, enriching the environment by encouraging positive play and interactions, problem solving difficult tasks (eg, sleeping and feeding), providing information on developmental milestones and 3) developmental support for the child.
Promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding, Kangaroo Mother Care (for premature babies), massage stimulation, micronutrient supplementation, responsive complementary feeding practices couple with psychosocial stimulation, could improve growth and neurodevelopment. KMC as well as infant massage promotes a greater closeness between infant and mother, decrease stress, and have a positive impact on infant growth and neurodevelopment.
Cochrane systematic review found that early intervention program for preterm infants have a positive influence on cognitive and motor outcomes during infancy, with cognitive benefits persisting into preschool age. Types of interventions could include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychological therapy, neurodevelopmental therapy, parent-infant relationship enhancement, infant stimulation, infant development, developmental care and early intervention (education).
Keywords: high-risk infants, early intervention, growth, and development