Background Family integrated care (FIC) is a model of care that supports and educates parents to become integral to their baby’s care as active carers rather than passive visitors. A pilot study has shown promising outcomes for weight gain, breast-feeding and parental stress.
Aims The aim of our project was to improve breast milk rates at discharge.
Methods A multi-disciplinary team including parents developed the project. Information and support from the pilot site education packages to be developed. Staff education included study days and one to one discussion. A parental education package of competencies and lessons was developed. Nursing and parental roles and responsibilities were defined. Eligibility was defined.
Parents were offered the opportunity to join the project. Parents were asked to spend 6 h/day with their baby and they were taught how to take on traditional nursing roles e.g. give oral medication, supported to provide skin to skin carepsychological support was offered. Parent volunteers visited to provide additional emotional support.
A three week rolling education programme was taught daily by an expert, covering relevant topics.
Standard data from the unit database was used to assess impact of the project. Project babies were matched for sex, gestation and birth-weight with babies born in the previous year.
Results The project launched in May 2015. In the first 6 months 38 families joined FIC. Results are shown in Figure 1, FIC Table.
Breast-milk rates at discharge are improved. FIC babies have a shorter length of and are discharged home at an earlier corrected gestational age. They show a trend toward less general practitioner and hospital attendance than non-project babies and less episodes requiring antibiotic treatment during their neonatal stay. Parents report feeling more confident and less stressed.
Conclusions Supporting and educating parents to take an active role in their baby’s care appears to have positive benefits for both baby and family. There may be economic benefits with shorter length of stay, decreased healthcare use post-discharge and minimal investment to set up the project.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.