A Physiotherapist is an important treatment partner for any child born prematurely. Physiotherapy should begin from the day 1, if baby health status allows it.
4 most important things where physiotherapist will guide parents of premature baby are:
- Education on holding, carrying, and playing with the baby. Your physiotherapist will make suggestions for positioning, holding, and carrying your baby. Your therapist will provide ideas for positioning the baby on the back for sleep, and on the stomach for play when the baby is awake.
- Fostering developmental skills. Some babies born prematurely have developmental problems. Your physiotherapist will help your child learn to master motor skills, such as holding up the head, sitting up, crawling, pulling to standing, and walking. Physiotherapists can help parents support their child’s development by providing hands-on training for movement, feeding, and play. Your therapist also may suggest changes at home to encourage movement development, communication, hearing, vision, and play skills.
- Increasing strength. Some babies born prematurely may have decreased muscle strength or tone associated with the prematurity. Your physiotherapist will teach you exercises and play activities to maintain or increase your baby’s strength. Your therapist will identify games and fun tasks that promote strengthening.
- Orofacial neuromotor stimulation. Some babies born prematurely will have difficulty in sucking milk. Your physiotherapist will stimulate orofacial neuromotor structures so that sucking reflex for your baby should improve, which will help in sucking milk.
Research has shown that EARLY INTERVENTION THERAPY maximize infant’s growth and maturation.