Co-bedding versus traditional bedding of multiple-gestation infants in the NICU

J Healthc Qual. Jan-Feb 2003;25(1):5-10; quiz 10-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-1474.2003.tb01025.x.


This study was part of a large departmental performance improvement initiative to implement and evaluate developmental and family-centered care as "best practice" in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The goal was to evaluate the safety, effect on infant clinical and developmental outcomes, and maternal satisfaction of co-bedding of multiple-gestation infants compared to traditionally bedded infants/mothers. A secondary purpose was to evaluate co-bedding and American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended "back to sleep" behaviors in the same infants/mothers after discharge. A retrospective, comparative, descriptive design was used. Chart reviews and mailed written surveys were used to collect study data. Findings showed no significant differences in demographic variables or clinical and developmental outcomes between the total traditionally bedded and co-bedded groups. All mothers reported positive experiences with the NICU. Co-bedding may promote maternal bonding and has no negative clinical or developmental outcomes. Once policies and education are in place, parents should be offered the option to co-bed multiple-gestation infants in the NICU. There is a performance improvement opportunity regarding the education provided to parents of multiple-gestation infants before discharge on the "back to sleep" recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Education, Continuing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incubators, Infant / statistics & numerical data*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / standards*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Multiple Birth Offspring*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Safety
  • Sampling Studies
  • Southeastern United States
  • Treatment Outcome