Less stress for child and parents30 October 2013
It’s a nightmare for expecting parents: your child is born prematurely, and has to spend weeks in an incubator covered in electrodes and wires connected to monitors. Doctoral candidate Sibrecht Bouwstra developed creations that ease the experience for both child and parents.
The chance of survival for premature babies has increased substantially over the past decades. And it’s a good thing, too, because the number of babies that’s born prematurely has seen a significant increase as well in the Netherlands. Reasons for that include the fact that because of IVF and the rising age of motherhood more and more twins are born. And unfortunately, premature, underweight twins are common.
In the Netherlands, babies born in the 24th week of pregnancy or later are treated actively, says designer Sibrecht Bouwstra. From that moment there’s a chance they survive, thanks to the current standard of medicine. Still, such an early start often has undesired consequences. “At a later age, premature children have a greater chance of developing learning disabilities and behavioral issues, for example.”
To prevent problems that may occur later in life it’s important a premature baby develops as well as possible at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). And that’s a problem, because not only does an incubator baby start off with an obvious disadvantage, but there’s a lack of supportive (physical) contact with its parents as well. The conditions – electrodes, wires monitoring its temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen level – make that difficult. These circumstances cause stress in the child, causing an impeded development.
“Physical contact with a parent relieves stress, and has a positive effect on the child”, says Bouwstra. “It’s one of the reasons to perform so-called Kangaroo care, where the baby is transferred from the incubator to one of the parents in a chair to hold the baby skin-to-skin on the chest.”All stickers and wires are a hindrance, obviously, and the sight of an incubator baby is quite traumatic for the parents.
Do you have a question that deserves a surprise answer? Does your landlord suffer from incontinence, are you confused as to why Vertigo is green, or is there anything else that’s complicating your life at TU/e? Now you can Just Ask Alain! This week: lazy Vertigo stairs.
Because she reprimands the students of Industrial Design whenever they make a mess. Because she and Lucid ‘just can´t live without each other’. Because she makes the very best coffee and is considered the ‘basis of ID’. Because of that and a dozen other reasons, Lucid launched a petition to keep cleaning lady Alie Wenting, so she can stay on after the departmental move from Hoofdgebouw to Laplace.
Those who were having lunch at the Gemini cafeteria could see the walkway from Flux only has a few meters left to go. We’ll still have to wait until 2015 before we can use the main connection on the first floor between FLUX and the rest of the buildings at TU/e, though.
The Dutch road and railway network is flanked by some five million square meters of noise barriers. If we were to replace the bulk of those barriers by transparent colored Plexiglas we could generate a huge amount of green power. Before long test barriers will be put up near Den Bosch which will have to show whether that dream of TU/e researcher dr. Michael Debije, expert in the area of luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs), can ever become reality.
A live audience of 1,200 people is needed for acoustic research, conducted by two scientists of the Eindhoven University of Technology. On October 20th, Remy Wenmaekers en Constant Hak explore for the first time the effect of the orchestra ánd audience on the acoustics of the main music hall in Muziekgebouw Eindhoven. The test highlights a program offering acoustics, architecture and music during the Dutch Design Week.