Premature Infants are entitled to physiotherapy treatments while they are in the hospital's neonatal unit. Treatments are given by physiotherapists who are specially certified in child development and treating preemies.
Areas included in treatment
- Private physiotherapy treatment is given based on the medical status of the preemie and includes the following areas:
- Neuro-motor functioning: encouraging motor functions according to the goals set;
- Eating abilities: preparation for eating through stimulating the mouth, encouraging swallowing and sucking;
- Breathing abilities: maintaining open and clear airways;
- Sensory functioning: a mix of sensory stimulation (touch, smell, sound, visual stimulation).
Training for the Parents
- A part of the physiotherapy treatment, the physiotherapist must provide regular and clear guidance to the parents based on their knowledge and expertise in the field, during hospitalization and in preparation for being discharged from the unit.
- The guidance is given privately, in groups and through written information based on what is acceptable in that specific unit.
- The training includes:
- Information on the development process;
- Guidance on how to encourage movement;
- Guidance on how to hold the baby in different positions;
- Guidance on accessing relevant resources.
Preparation for Discharge
- The physiotherapist is completely involved in the process of discharge from the neonatal unit.
- The physiotherapist has the following obligations:
- Perform a physical and developmental assessment before discharging the preemie from the unit;
- Provide professional oral and written instructions to parents when the preemie is being prepared to be discharged;
- Write a summary of treatment and provide recommendations of the professionals in community;
- To be present at the preemie's follow-up in the hospital and to contact the community care unit, if necessary.
Who is Eligible?
- Premature Infants hospitalized in the neonatal unit.
- The Ministry of Health recommends that, as much as possible, the baby's family is involved in and a part of the physiotherapy treatment the baby is given in the neonatal unit.
- Ministry of Health Regulation from 25.12.2011 - incorporating physiotherapy into the hospital's neonatal unit.
- The initial information on this page was written by the Israeli Medical Association
English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.