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Table 2 Caregivers’ actions reported by parents as useful for early bonding with their preterm newborn

From: Parents’ expectations of staff in the early bonding process with their premature babies in the intensive care setting: a qualitative multicenter study with 60 parents

Before birth

Prenatal visit by neonatologist

Explanations: baby’s weight and capacities, breastfeeding, child's course

Introduction of staff and department operation


Consistency of descriptions of management

At birth

Briefly reassure parents about baby's condition (alive)

Reassure father about the mother's condition

Between delivery and first visit

Visit mother in her room

Provide photograph of the baby

Interact directly with both parents, especially if clinical status of the baby is worsening

In the NICU

Accompany each parent on first visit

Gentle and attentive attitude toward the baby

Explanations: machines, alarms, child's capacities and ways of helping him

Help parents become more autonomous progressively, gently and kindly, avoid judgments


Suggest closeness: carrying the baby, skin-to-skin (anticipate and support these moments)