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Tuesday 20 February 2018
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Do you know what a baby’s brain sounds like?

This short film allows you to hear such sounds or “baby brainwave music”. The Cork, Ireland based INFANT Centre are using innovative technology to treat babies born “too soon, too small and too sick.”

The  Irish National Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) Centre based at Cork University Maternity Hospital is currently developing an early diagnostic test for preeclampsia. They are currently recruiting throughout Europe for expectant mothers to take part in early screening tests for more information see The IMPROVED project http://www.fp7-improved.eu/mothers

Helping babies cope with stress

Meanwhile, the Harvard Centre on the Developing Child is advocating an approach to paediatric childcare that involves another kind of tuning in to baby brains – namely watching out for signs of any stressors in the baby’s environment that could be hampering development.

According to the team:

Extensive biological research shows that severe, chronic stress can become toxic to developing brains and biological systems when a child suffers significant adversity, such as poverty, abuse, neglect, neighborhood violence, or the substance abuse or mental illness of a caregiver. In the absence of responsive relationships with adult caregivers, a child’s stress response systems go on high alert and stay there, like a car engine revving for hours, days, even weeks.

The cumulative toll increases the likelihood of developmental delays, learning disabilities, and childhood behavior problems, as well as diabetes, heart disease, depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, and other major health problems in adults.

Their innovative approach is recognising that the emotional wellbeing of a child is as important to development as basis food and security needs and so it is a good initiative that they are taking to root out what they call “toxic stress” with a view to then intervening to help to reduce whatever stressors they might discover that are affecting the baby.

Read more about this positive step in paediatric care here:

Pediatricians Take On Toxic Stress

Listening to a Baby’s Brain: Changing the Pediatric Checkup to Reduce Toxic Stress

 

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