UZ Leuven the first Flemish NIDCAP training institute for neonatal care

11 October 2021
At the end of September the UZ Leuven department of neonatology was officially named the first NIDCAP-training centre in Flanders. In future, nurses, midwives, neonatologists or home carers will be able to follow UZ Leuven courses to improve the care for premature babies.

NIDCAP® (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) stands for evidence-based development-supporting and family-oriented care for premature babies. Starting from individual observation of the baby care providers provide tailor-made care for the child and determine development targets. The ultimate objective is a better longterm outcome for the baby and the family. The NIDCAP training centre at UZ Leuven provides courses on various levels, ranging from basic knowledge to development-oriented care to more thorough courses of a couple of years. The Flemish government has been asking for a training centre in Flanders for some time and subsidised the courses of 2 NIDCAP trainers at UZ Leuven. There are some 25 NIDCAP training centres worldwide. 

There is a need for more NIDCAP specialists in our country to improve the longterm outcome of the babies.
prof. dr. Gunnar Naulaers

Prof. dr. Anne Debeer, neonatologist and coordinator of the NIDCAP-training centre: “The most important Het belangrijkste in NIDCAP is dat we niet aan routinezorg doen. We observe every baby and determine its care based on what the baby is ready for at that moment. In addition we involve the parents as quickly as possible in the care of the baby. Not just medical but also psychological support is crucial.”

Prof. dr. Gunnar Naulaers, head of the neonatology department: “I'm extremely proud we have been appointed the first NIDCAP training centre in Flanders. It's the culmination of a evolution our department has gone through towards individual care, tailored to the premature child. Our team has worked intensively towards this for 8 years. From all over Belgium courses will be taken with our 2 NIDCAP trainers, who will spend 20% of their time on this. There is a real need for more NIDCAP specialists in our country, so that we can improve the long-term outcome of premature babies and babies needing extra care.”

The NIDCAP team consists of prof. dr. Anne Debeer, prof. dr. Chris Vanhole, psychologist Bieke Bollen, physiotherapist Sophie Vuylsteke and nurses Kelly Janssens and Monique Robeyns. On 7 May 2022 the department of neonatology will celebrate the opening of the NIDCAP training centre with a scientific symposium.  

Last edit: 13 February 2023