Touching Lives - FULL DAY - DAY 1


Touching Lives - FULL DAY - DAY 1


The need to be surrounded by nurturing touch begins in the womb and remains present throughout the lifespan. Much of the life-saving touch in the trauma-filled environment of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is invasive, uncomfortable and stressful. However, procedural touch can be balanced with comfort touch and many of the deleterious effects of medical touch can be minimized or eliminated.

This portion of the Touching Lives program instructs caregivers not only in the mechanics of touch, such as hand hugging and infant massage, but, more importantly, in how to attune and interact with a baby who has, and is, experiencing trauma. When caregiving is done in a conscious manner, it transforms touch that is done to the infant into touch that is done with the infant and this is invaluable. Current research on the many benefits of touch and infant massage will be discussed as well as well as hands-on instruction and methods of including parents in the continuum of touch they are able to provide to their infant in the NICU and beyond.

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Learning Objectives

  1. The learner will demonstrate two ways of incorporating mindful touch into the daily caregiving routine

  2. The learner will identify obstacles to bonding and attachment and related positive and negative consequences


Evidence Based Touch and Massage Therapy

  • General guidelines

  • Contraindications

Massage Therapy Techniques

  • Preparing for massage

  • Side-lying position

  • Supine position

Adaptations for Special Circumstances

  • The Infant with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

  • The Medically Fragile Infant

Parent Teaching Methods

  • Competency-based (return demonstration)

  • Class format ideas

Critical Thinking: Touch Therapy Continuum