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New animations aim to raise parenteral awareness over neonatal brain damage

The series is called My Baby’s Brain and it has been developed to support parents of premature babies.

"The motherhood penalty -- the loss in lifetime earnings experienced by women raising children -- has become the most significant driver of the gender pay gap," the report said. — Image © AFP
"The motherhood penalty -- the loss in lifetime earnings experienced by women raising children -- has become the most significant driver of the gender pay gap," the report said. — Image © AFP

A paediatric neuroimaging group has launched an animation series designed to support parents of premature infants. The content seeks to improve parental understanding of brain development in premature infants.

The material also seeks to educate parents in the effect brain development has on breathing and apnoeas (the cessation of breathing). In the UK, 1 in 13 babies is born prematurely. Apnoea of prematurity is a common problem in neonatal care, affecting around 50 percent of premature infants.

The animations have been put together with parents in mind, intended to give parents of premature babies a better understanding of how their baby’s brain is developing, how apnoea is linked to the immaturity of a premature infant’s brain, and the techniques researchers use to investigate brain development.

The series is called My Baby’s Brain and it has been developed to support parents of premature babies, enabling them to understand why premature babies have apnoeas, the treatment they receive, and the equipment that is used.

For the content to have been made with parents in mind is seen as an important component to the animations. The designers sought to ensure the information is accessible and easy-to-understand.

My Baby’s Brain is provided as a free, online resource. The technical details were created in collaboration with parents of premature babies alongside SSNAP (Supporting sick newborn and their parents), a charity based in the Newborn Care Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Lauren Young, part of the Family Care Team at SSNAP, says: “In my role with the Family Care Team for SSNAP I see so many parents trying to navigate all the information they receive from the medical teams. I feel strongly that anything helping parents to process the information, feel more comfortable with their surroundings and the care that their child is receiving, can go a really long way to helping them on the journey.”

Young expands on the content further, noting: “These animations will be so helpful to parents and families with premature babies. They will help them to understand the reasons their baby is needing the care they receive and give a very clear picture of equipment used, as well as a soft introduction to language and terminology they may hear along their journey. My Baby’s Brain will help parents feel more in touch with their babies’ care and help them to build confidence in the neonatal setting.”

The videos can be accessed using QR codes making them available on mobile devices, allowing parents to choose a time that best suits them to watch and process the information.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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