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Considerations for Touch and Massage in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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AN EXPANDING BODY OF research has documented the short-term advantages of gentle touch and massage for healthy term infants and some growing and medically stable preterm infants. These findings have provided the impetus for extension of massage techniques to very small, fragile newborns, promoting the utilization of new personnel in NICUs specifically to provide massage therapy for newborns. It is important, before engaging in these approaches, for professionals in the NICU to consider the potential impact of massage on the infant and the family. It is also imperative that professionals in the NICU take into account the current growing knowledge base regarding developmental care and the implications for decision making regarding provision of stimuli of any sort to fragile, sick newborns in the NICU.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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