The University of Texas at Arlington announced in a release that its researchers are working on a pilot intervention program that will combine interactive and hands-on interventions for new moms and premature babies.
UTA researchers believe a combination of maternal, infant and home assessments, education, and use of an interactive, hands-on intervention taught to the mother can aid in infant development, strengthen relationships between mother and infant and subsequently reduce depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in mothers of pre-term babies.
The researchers are working on a pilot intervention that will test 40 new mothers of premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital. The interventions will continue over a 12-month period with a final assessment at 18 months following birth. Improvement of the infants’ developmental skills, attachment and the mothers’ mental health will be the key measurements of success. The Philip and Carolyn Evanson endowment is funding part of the pilot program.
Mothers who give birth to pre-term babies are vulnerable to mental health issues, such as PTSD, which may affect the attachment between the mother and the baby, and subsequently delay the infant’s development. An interactive, hands-on intervention plus education and regular assessments by health care professionals during frequent follow-up home visits may go a long way in helping those mothers overcome PTSD.
Improving health and the human condition is one of the four guiding themes of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.
Read the full release here.
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