Neurodevelopmental Care in the Neonatal Unit

In this episode, Dr Leila Ellis welcomes Dr Alicia Regan to the podcast to discuss neurodevelopmental care in the neonatal unit. Alicia is a paediatric registrar with a special interest in neonatal medicine based in the South West. She has been working with colleagues to introduce the South West Cuddle Bundle aiming to educate staff and parents on the benefits of cuddles in the neonatal unit.


  • Als, H. and B. McAnulty, G. (2011) ‘The newborn individualized developmental care and assessment program (NIDCAP) with Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC): Comprehensive care for preterm infants’, Current Women’s Health Reviews, 7(3), pp. 288–301. doi:10.2174/157340411796355216. 
  • Jefferies, A. (2012) ‘Kangaroo care for the preterm infant and family’, Paediatrics and Child Health, 17(3), pp. 141–143. doi:10.1093/pch/17.3.141. 
  • Lee, J. et al. (2021) ‘Parent–infant skin-to-skin contact reduces the electrical activity of the diaphragm and stabilizes respiratory function in preterm infants’, Pediatric Research, 91(5), pp. 1163–1167. doi:10.1038/s41390-021-01607-2. 
  • Linnér, A. et al. (2020) ‘Immediate parent-infant skin-to-skin study (IPISTOSS): Study protocol of a randomised controlled trial on very preterm infants cared for in skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and potential physiological, epigenetic, psychological and neurodevelopmental consequences’, BMJ Open, 10(7). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038938. 
  • Sanders, M.R. and Hall, S.L. (2017) ‘Trauma-informed care in the newborn intensive care unit: Promoting safety, security and connectedness’, Journal of Perinatology, 38(1), pp. 3–10. doi:10.1038/jp.2017.124. 
  • Smith, E.R. et al. (2017) ‘Barriers and enablers of health system adoption of Kangaroo Mother Care: A systematic review of Caregiver Perspectives’, BMC Pediatrics, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12887-016-0769-5. 


    Book recommendation

    • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

    If you have questions after listening to this episode or if you would like to become a Cuddle Champion, you can contact Alicia ( or the South West Neonatal Network team.

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