There are increasingly more Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) that involve the family in the care of the newborn. But lack of space is one of the main problems encountered in the units when carrying it out. To provide a family of “their space”, a place where to enjoy intimacy and privacy can turn completely the hard experience as it passing through a NICU admittance.

Do you know why?

1. Because babies are more isolated and the level of noise can better control, because strong and sharp or excessive noise can damage hearing structures of the newborns, especially preemies and thus we encourage the rest.

Picture: system designed by Philips

2. Because we can also control and customize lighting. It is very important to have a good quality and chromatic light performance, in particular to assess the color of the skin of the baby. The benefit to preterm infants of the reduction of light, as well as keep the cycle of day and night (circadian rhythm) as natural light is highly recommended as a source of psychological benefit for users, although they are necessary blinds or darkening elements (of neutral color to not distort the natural light).

3. Because we can provide the space of constant temperature and humidity levels. Thanks to this comfort you can minimize the loss of heat and water in the neonate and create a comfortable space for all users.

Always is recommended that each room has independent regulators to customize according to the needs of each moment. But the benefits of having a space for each family have not are only related to improving the comfort, also encourage us to create warm, friendly and personalized spaces.

We can install ergonomic furniture for parents to feel a comfortable space and cope comfortably stay in the unit because the mother, as a main caregiver, is in a vulnerable both emotionally and physically state. It must also provide parents with annexed spaces to rest, bathe and eat properly.

In this way is creating a temporary home for families and that we can complete providing warmth with decoration by means of colors, vinyl, fake skies, landscapes even with a small space or bulletin board so that each family can customize it with photos, drawings, some toy, etc.

If we take care of environment also we will be taking care of the psychological well-being, because with their own space, family can be involved in the best conditions in care, so parents can reduce their stress and anxiety levels, thet will improve the quality of the emotional link and interaction with the newborn; we will facilitate the practice of the “Kangaroo method” which is a benefit in many aspects of the health and the welfare of the infant and we can help families to take care of his son, not only during income, but at home, improving the family atmosphere. Ultimately, the degree of satisfaction from the experience in the NICU improves, and not only for families, also healthcare team can better perform their work and communication will be more fluid with families.

Let´s improve the user experience and provide to NICU space and privacy for families!.


Mónica Ferrero, interior designer of Proyecto HU-CI and Lab In Action