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Positioning for Life

I’ve shared with you how small changes in behavior can have a significant impact. Another of those behavior changes was related to me by Kathy Clark, a pediatric physical therapist. Kathy was volunteering in Bhutan’s National Referral Hospital, where 3,500 babies are delivered each year, and where hundreds of pediatric cases are referred. Her work was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where tiny infants are fighting for their lives. The first days for these infants are crucial, and every element of care can profoundly affect their development. Kathy noticed that there was a need for training in proper positioning of the infants.

She conducted two in-service trainings, despite the hectic schedule for the staff, and demonstrated how to use a positioning roll she had developed. The physiotherapy staff began positioning the infants properly, counseled parents on how to handle and position their newborn, and began sewing their own waterproof bedrolls for the NICU. Kathy noted, “Their effort resulted in improved positioning of premature babies that will positively affect their motor and sensory development, their ability to self-calm, and their respiratory status. Proper positioning will minimize skeletal deformities and muscle imbalances. It was a small but potentially profound change in behaviors.”

For these tiny babies, it was an increased chance for a healthy start to life!

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