Providing a nurturing environment for infants in adverse situations: multisensory strategies for newborn care

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2004 Jul-Aug;49(4 Suppl 1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2004.05.004.


Giving birth in dangerous settings, such as natural disasters and war, can have long-lasting consequences on infant growth and development. It is during birth and the neonatal period that mother and baby are particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors. This article explores the neurohormonal aspects of stress and social bonding and offers strategies aimed at reducing maternal and infant stress and improving the mother-infant relationship. Low-tech interventions, such as massage, Kangaroo Mother Care, and multisensory intervention (maternal voice, massage, eye-to-eye contact, and rocking) are described for their use in adverse environments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Breast Feeding
  • Developing Countries
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / standards
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / standards*
  • Infant Welfare*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / prevention & control
  • Massage
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Environment*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*