Game-changing invention reduces pain in premature babies
"I hope that this is a game changer in terms of how incubators are built in the future."
Mimicking skin-to-skin contact (SSC), Calmer was created by occupational therapist, Liisa Holsti and her team of researchers from the University of British Columbia. (iStock)
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Did you know, that even up to the 20th century, the medical community believed that babies were incapable of feeling pain? 

The belief stemmed from the notion that an infant's brain was not properly developed until the age of 1, and was therefore immune to the perception of pain. 

Thankfully, the medical community has come a long way since the terrible belief, with findings suggesting that babies may be even more prone to physical suffering due to their "limited ability to modulate pain." 

Calmer, a newly designed machine, is proving just how far science has come. 


Also see: All about preemies

Was your baby born prematurely? Share your birth story, and we could publish your letter. Anonymous contributions are welcome.


Mimicking skin-to-skin contact (SSC), a recognised form of pain relief for preterm infants, Calmer was created by occupational therapist, Liisa Holsti and her team of researchers from the University of British Columbia, reports the Canadian Press (see video above).

Essentially a robotic device, Calmer is a rectangular metal platform wrapped in a skin-like fabric, programmed to replicate the rhythm of a parent's heartbeat and breathing, acting as a stand-in soother for when parents are not able to provide SSC. 

"... the platform rises up and down to mimic breathing, and a heartbeat sound is audible through a microphone outside the device," reports the publication. 

For the inventors, the device was created as an alternative to pain medication often needed when premature babies undergo intensive medical treatment while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

"I hope that this is a game changer in terms of how incubators are built in the future," said Liisa.

Chat back:

Was your baby born prematurely? Share your birth story, and we could publish your letter. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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