Neonatal Womb Dynamics, AEI

            CANADA EH!



Canadians are present, engaged, and innovative in their approach to the exploration, understanding, treatment/preventative developments and care delivery within the Neonatal Womb/Preterm Birth community!

Two of our FAVORITE Canadian Neonatal Womb resources for information, innovations and progressive collaborations are the The Canadian Neonatal Network and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  About 8% of Canada’s babies are born preterm.  

  Full Source- 

The Canadian Neonatal Network is a group of Canadian researchers who collaborate on research issues relating to neonatal care. The Network was founded in 1995 by Shoo Lee, MBBS, FRCPC, PhD and now includes members from 30 hospitals and 17 universities across Canada. The Network maintains a standardized neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) database and provides a unique opportunity for researchers to participate in collaborative projects on a national and international scale. Health care professionals, health services researchers and health administrators participate actively in clinical, epidemiologic, outcomes, health services, health policy and informatics research aimed at improving efficacy and efficiency of neonatal care. Research results are published in Network reports and in peer-reviewed journals.                                                                      Full Source:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health has established a Preterm Birth Initiative to support new and innovative research ideas as well as improvements in the perinatal health care system and patient outcomes.

  • The Institute has invested $6.45 million to support three elements under its initiative:
  • A pan-Canadian collaborative preterm birth research network
  • A research team focusing on improving the perinatal health care system in Canada
  • Annual reports provide interesting/important on-going data and findings.

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Our Canadian Family is investing in our Future. What they learn, they share with the Neonatal Womb community at large! Note that the individual providers in charge of each research project are listed below. Our Community will certainly benefit from their efforts!

Preterm Birth Research Initiative-

Backgrounder- From Canadian Institutes of Health Research

An estimated 390,000 babies are born each year in Canada. Of these, nearly 8 percent are born prematurely – at less than 37 weeks of gestation. The cause of the majority of preterm births is unknown.

Preterm birth may result in serious health complications for the baby and increase the risk of developing chronic health conditions later in the life; it also accounts for nearly two thirds of infant deaths in Canada. In addition, preterm birth has social and financial impacts on families and additional costs for society in terms of healthcare and education.

CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health has established a Preterm Birth Initiative to support new and innovative research ideas as well as improvements in the perinatal health care system and patient outcomes.

  • The Institute has invested $6.45 million to support three elements under its initiative:
  • A pan-Canadian collaborative preterm birth research network.
  • A research team focusing on improving the perinatal health care system in Canada
  • Six research projects focused on catalyzing new research approaches to preventing preterm birth and improving outcomes for babies born preterm

Preterm Birth Network-

The Improving Outcomes for Preterm Infants and their Families: A Canadian Collaborative Network led by Dr. Prakeshkumar Shah at Toronto’s Sinai Health System will bring together researchers, doctors, nurses, and families from coast-to-coast to improve the delivery of care and consequently the outcomes of preterm birth. The network will conduct research across the continuum of care for extremely preterm infants. Over the next 5 years, the network aims to increase the rate of preterm infant survival without complications by 30%.

Perinatal Health Care System Improvement-

Overall Canadians benefit from excellent perinatal health care. However, the regionalization of care throughout Canada results in significant variability in maternal and infant outcomes, perinatal care practices, and health care system performance between provinces and territories.

A research team led by Dr. K.S. Joseph at the University of British Columba and the BC Children’s Hospital will analyze the perinatal health care system in Canada to determine the impact of regionalization on hospital services, emergency transport, access to care, and health outcomes from mothers and babies. The results will be used to formulate and implement recommendations for optimizing care in collaboration with provincial and territorial health ministries and perinatal care programs.

Catalyzing Innovation in Preterm Birth Research-

Six research projects were funded on health issues commonly affecting premature babies and their mothers.

  • Dr. Karen Benzies at the University of Calgary will study the effect of a family integrated model of care on child development, maternal mental health, and health care costs.
  • Dr. Lawrence McCandless at Simon Fraser University will estimate the cumulative impact of a mother’s exposure to environmental contaminants on preterm birth.
  • Dr. Silvia Pagliardini at the University of Alberta will study the control of expiration – or breathing out – in preterm newborns as a way of treating irregular breathing during sleep.
  • Dr. Katherine Ryan at the University of British Columbia will identify the factors in the gut bacteria that protect infants from necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious disease affecting premature babies.
  • Dr. Oksana Shynlova at Toronto’s Sinai Health System will study magnetic resonance imaging of a mother’s cervix and blood markers as a tool to predict preterm birth.
  • Dr. Graeme Smith at Queen’s University will develop new therapeutics for the treatment of pre-eclampsia – or high blood pressure – in pregnant women.

Together these projects will advance our knowledge and understanding of the causes and mechanisms of preterm birth and guide new approaches to prevent preterm birth and improve health outcomes for premature babies.




Sleep Disorders, Genetic Discoveries, and Emotional Analytics …

*** New developments in identifying factors that may impact preterm birth, and empowering our Community through expanded communication resources…

  • Sleep Disorders Linked to Preterm Birth in Large California Study – Aug 8, 2017
  • Insomnia, Sleep Apnea Nearly Double the Risk of a Preterm Delivery Before 34 Weeks By Laura Kurtzman

Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers at UC San Francisco. The study found the prevalence of preterm birth—defined as delivery before 37 weeks’ gestation—was 14.6 percent for women diagnosed with a sleep disorder during pregnancy, compared to 10.9 percent for women who were not. The odds of early preterm birth—before 34 weeks—was more than double for women with sleep apnea and nearly double for women with insomnia. Complications are more severe among early preterm births, which makes this latter finding particularly important, the authors said.

In contrast to the normal sleep changes that typically occur during pregnancy, the new study focused on major disruptions likely to result in impairment. The true prevalence of these disorders is unknown because pregnant women often go undiagnosed. Treating sleep disorders during pregnancy could be a way to reduce the preterm rate, which is about 10 percent in the United States, more than most other highly developed countries. The study, published Aug. 8, 2017 in Obstetrics & Gynecology, is the first to examine the effects of insomnia during pregnancy. Because of a large sample size, the authors were able to examine the relationship between different types of sleep disorders and subtypes of preterm birth (for example, early vs. late preterm birth, or spontaneous preterm labor vs. early deliveries that were initiated by providers due to mothers’ health issues).

To separate the effects of poor sleep from other factors that also contribute to a risk of preterm birth, the researchers used a case-control design: 2,265 women with a sleep disorder diagnosis during pregnancy were matched to controls who did not have such a diagnosis, but had identical maternal risk factors for preterm birth, such as a previous preterm birth, smoking during pregnancy, or hypertension. “This gave us more confidence that our finding of an earlier delivery among women with disordered sleep was truly attributable to the sleep disorder, and not to other differences between women with and without these disorders,” said Jennifer Felder, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the lead author of the study. The researchers were surprised by how few women in the dataset—well below 1 percent—had a sleep disorder diagnosis, and suspect that only the most serious cases were identified. “The women who had a diagnosis of a sleep disorder recorded in their medical record most likely had more severe presentations,” said Aric Prather, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF and senior author of the study. “It’s likely that the prevalence would be much higher if more women were screened for sleep disorders during pregnancy.” Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective in the general population and does not require taking medications that many pregnant women prefer to avoid. To find out if this therapy is effective among pregnant women with insomnia, and ultimately whether it may improve birth outcomes, Felder and colleagues are recruiting participants for the UCSF Research on Expecting Moms and Sleep Therapy (REST) Study.“What’s so exciting about this study is that a sleep disorder is a potentially modifiable risk factor,” said Felder, who was trained in clinical psychology. Other authors of the study include Rebecca Baer, MPH, of the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego; Larry Rand, MD, of the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; and Laura Jelliffe-Pawlowski, PhD, of the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.The study was supported by the California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) at UCSF and funded by Marc and Lynne Benioff.

Full Source-


canada.hand                         New Genetic Discovery May Someday End Premature Birth

Published on Sep 7, 2017-An international team of researchers has identified — for the first time — six genes that determine the length of pregnancy and whether a baby is born preterm. Preterm birth is a major cause of infant death and disability. Now, as VOA’s Carol Pearson reports, scientists may have clues about preventing prematurity.

Please enjoy this informative video!   


Beyond Verbal – Emotional

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a key factor in effective communication, and EI can improve with skill development and through the use of Artificial Emotional Intelligence Technology. Innovations in technology allow us the opportunity to increase our emotional intelligence in diverse ways using resources that compliment individual learning and communication styles! A key issue that led Kat and I to explore emotional intelligence, analytics, and artificial emotional intelligence is the indication that preterm birth survivors may be somewhat more likely to be on the autism disorder spectrum (ASD) combined with the seemingly increasing number of gifted scientists and health care providers on the ASD spectrum providing services within our community. I recommend that anyone interested in ASD consider reading Neuro Tribes, The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Beyond Verbal – Emotional Analytics A technology resource for emotional analytics. Emotions Analytics change the way we interact with our machines and ourselves – forever. By decoding human vocal intonations into their underlying emotions in real-time, Emotions Analytics enables voice-powered devices, apps and solutions to interact with us on an emotional level, just as humans do. Entre!




* Exciting news from the UK and Canada where progression in preterm birth care compliments advances in family-centered care. I certainly did not have this kind of support 26 years ago when Kat was born, which enables me to see the value in moving towards family-centered preterm birth care globally.

The hospital where parents care for premature babies-By Nicola Rees & Andy Smythe Victoria Derbyshire programme – 4 April 2017

On a hospital ward in Leeds, parents of premature babies are encouraged to help care for their newborns – from taking temperatures to the delicate task of inserting feeding tubes. So how does the approach benefit families?

“It is just nice to feel like a mum, rather than just somebody watching,” Anna Cox tells the Victoria Derbyshire programme, as she takes the temperature of her baby. Lola was born at just 23 weeks. She had a twin brother who sadly did not survive and she was given little hope of survival.

“During labour, one of the neo-natal consultants came to see us and painted a really bad picture that she could have all sorts of problems,” Anna says.Lola was cared for at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds -the first in the UK to implement a family integrated care system. ‘Pretty simple’ It put parents – not nurses – in charge of everything other than the most complicated medical treatments for their premature babies while they were in hospital. “One of the jobs we have to do is take her temperature, maybe every three or four hours,” Anna says. “It is a pretty simple procedure really.” However, parents also perform more complicated tasks, including inserting a tube into their baby’s nose to allow them to feed. “There are certain things they [nurses] obviously watch over you quite a bit to begin with because it needs to be done right,” she says. “They do like to make sure you know what you’re doing, they wouldn’t just leave you to it.”                     Full Source:


Family Integrated Care- Improving Care for Premature Babies

St James’s University Hospital in Leeds * Enjoy this personal story of Integrated care “Family Integrated Care’ is dramatically improving outcomes for premature babies in Leeds. Nicola Rees reports from St James’ Hospital neonatal unit for the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme.”

Vancouver hospital launches new kind of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit-Premature or sick babies will be cared for right next to their mothersCBC News               Posted: Sep 28, 2017

The new Teck Acute Care Centre on the campus of BC Children’s Hospital has 70 separate single-family rooms, designed to care for premature babies and their mothers, together. (CBC News)

BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver is rolling out a whole new way to care for newborns with serious medical problems. Once fully operational, the Teck Acute Care Centre will house North America’s first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where mother and child will receive medical care in the same room, from the same nurse.

It’s a stark contrast to the traditional NICU model where incubators are lined up in rows in one room. The new Teck Acute Care Centre will contain 70 separate single-patient rooms.

In a release, the hospital said this new model will “help parents bond with their new baby from day one.” Low-risk mothers will receive their postpartum care alongside their premature or sick baby by nurses trained to care for both. A Mom’s perspective is shared in the short yet exciting article:



So, you know you are smart, but are you emotionally intelligent?

Emotional intelligence helps make better doctors

Study finds physicians in training have high level of emotional intelligence – March 14, 2017 – Loyola University Health System- Summary:

A study found that pediatric residents had a median score of 110 on an emotional intelligence survey, compared to an average score of 100 in the general population. The physicians scored highest in impulse control, empathy and social responsibility and lowest in assertiveness, flexibility and independence.

Among the qualities that go into making an excellent physician is                  emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. Emotional intelligence plays a big role in determining a physician’s bedside manner. It helps make patients more trusting, which in turn leads to better doctor-patient relationships, increased patient satisfaction and better patient compliance. Emotional intelligence also can help make physicians more resilient to the stresses of the profession and less likely to experience burnout.

Loyola University Medical Center is among the centers that are studying emotional intelligence in physicians as a way to improve patient care and physicians’ well-being. In a new study for example, Loyola researchers report that physicians-in-training scored in the high range of emotional intelligence.

The young physicians as a group had a median score of 110 on an emotional intelligence survey, which is considered in the high range. (The average score for the general population is 100.) The physicians scored the highest in the subcategories of impulse control (114), empathy (113) and social responsibility (112) and lowest in assertiveness (102), flexibility (102) and independence (101).

The study by Ramzan Shahid, MD, Jerold Stirling, MD, and William Adams, MA, is published in the Journal of Contemporary Medical Education. Dr. Shahid is an associate professor and director of the pediatric residency program. Dr. Stirling is professor and chair of Loyola’s department of pediatrics. Mr. Adams is a biostatistician in the health sciences division of Loyola University Chicago.

There have been previous studies of emotional intelligence among physicians, but most studies have not included pediatric residents. To address this need, the Loyola study enrolled 31 pediatric and 16 med-peds residents at Loyola. (A resident is a physician who, following medical school, practices in a hospital under the supervision of an attending physician. A pediatric residency lasts three years. A med-peds residency, which combines pediatrics and internal medicine, lasts four years.) The residents completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0, a validated 133-item online survey that assesses emotional intelligence skills.

Residents in their third and fourth years of training scored higher in assertiveness (109) than residents in their first and second years (100). This could be related to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills and increased self-confidence as residents progress in their training.

But first- and second-year residents scored higher in empathy (115.5) than third- and fourth-year senior residents (110). “One could hypothesize: Does a resident’s level of assertiveness increase at the cost of losing empathy?” the authors wrote. There were no differences in emotional intelligence composite scores between males and females or between pediatric and med-peds residents.

The study is titled, “Assessment of emotional intelligence in pediatric and med-peds residents.” Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can be taught. “Educational interventions to improve resident emotional intelligence scores should focus on the areas of independence, assertiveness and empathy,” the authors wrote. “These interventions should help them become assertive but should ensure they do not lose empathy.”

The Loyola pediatrics and med-peds residents recently went through an emotional intelligence educational program that consisted of four hours of workshops. Initial data show the intervention has increased residents’ emotional intelligence scores, including the subcomponents related to stress management and wellness.

Full Source:


Emotional IQ Assessment -Two Interesting Options: 

Psychology Today: Emotional Intelligence Test – 45 minutes- *** After finishing this test you will receive a FREE snapshot report with a summary evaluation and graph. You will then have the option to purchase the full results for $9.95



 Emotional Intelligence Test (Free, approximately 10 Minutes)-The Global Emotional Intelligence Test – GEIT,  uses 40 questions which are derived from, the Global EI Capability Assessment instrument, which contains 158 items. These are based on Goleman’s four quadrant Emotional Intelligence Competency Model (2002). Click here for more details.  Short EI quizzes such as the GEIT are meant to be fun, and to give you a guide to which EI areas you are doing well in and those which perhaps you need to focus on for development.                   Test 10 Minutes-

iranian.docMothers’ Challenges after Infants’ Discharge from Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Qualitative Study

 Iranian Journal of Neonatology 2017; 8(1)- Zeinab Hemati1, Mahboobeh Namnabati2*, Fariba Taleghani3, Alireza Sadeghnia4-

Abstract: Background: Mothers with premature infants face certain challenges such as uncertainty on how to deal with their infant’s condition and care for it after discharge from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  Methods: A qualitative design was used to explain mothers’ challenges after their infant’s discharge from NICUs in Isfahan, Iran, 2015. Purposive sampling was adopted to interview the mothers who could provide us information about the challenges after their infant’s discharge. Data collection was performed by interviewing mothers. Data saturation was reached after conducting 23 in-depth, semi-structured interviews. All the data was analyzed by qualitative content analysis.  Results: Four themes and nine categories were identified. The themes were incompetence in breastfeeding, dependence on hospital and nurses, feeding tube as a reason for stress, and constantly worried mothers.  : Mothers have difficulty in meeting their infants’ basic needs after discharge. Supporting these mothers can enable them promote their infant’s health

Conclusion: Regarding the findings of this study, we can argue that mothers’ presence in NICU to engage in infant care and healthcare team’s support for these mothers after discharge might lower their stress and promote their self-confidence and care abilities, which in turn, lead to infants’ growth and development, as well as reduction in their NICU readmission.

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Our Universe of Technology continues to amaze! Check out this Artificial Intelligence movement

The next big thing in AI, emotional intelligence, could give hospitals a competitive edge But some big questions need to be answered as tools like Siri and Alexa start playing a role in the patient journey, says one expert. By Mike Miliard – August 17, 2017

As Amazon’s Alexa makes “herself” comfortable in more and more homes, she and similar artificial intelligence technologies could soon be having an impact on hospitals.AI-based virtual assistants are evolving quickly, and more and more effort is being put into making them emotionally intelligent – able to pick up on subtle cues in speech, inflection or gesture to assess a person’s mood and feelings. The ways that could impact wellness and healthcare are intriguing. By reading into vocal tone, AI platforms could perhaps detect depression, or potentially even underlying chronic conditions such as heart disease. A short, action-packed article worth the read:


Nature: accessible, free, healing, priceless – We live here! The evolution of IT; we also live there! It’s all about –balance

Nature’s health benefits: Access to all

The Seattle Times – Originally published November 3, 2017 – By Letters editor

Kudos for the article on veteran Alex Seling’s Mexico border to Canada hike. Scientific evidence for a wide range of nature-related health benefits is growing, and Pacific Northwest residents are positioned to put that evidence to work.

In a classic study, patients recovering from gallbladder surgery occupying rooms with views of trees were discharged more quickly and required fewer painkillers than those with views of a brick wall. Research has shown that exposure to nature can enhance immune function and child development, and reduce depression, stress and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms

On Oct. 26, the Center for Creative Conservation at the University of Washington hosted the Northwest Nature & Health Symposium. Sponsored by the Bullitt Foundation and REI, it brought together scientists, physicians, community organizers, city planners and others to discuss the health benefits of nature. Among the many lessons learned, perhaps the most potent was the desire to improve access to nature in a fair and equitable manner. Much work is needed to make nature and the health benefits that come with it accessible to all.

Josh Lawler, Sara Jo Breslow and Ben Packard, University of Washington EarthLab’s Center for Creative Conservation- 


Kat’s Corner-


Acknowledging that it is sometimes beneficial to gain an outside perspective when it comes to better understanding and communicating with ourselves and others, I took the 10-minute Global Emotional Intelligence Test – GEIT, which we noted in our blog. While I scored quite high in the areas of Self and Social-Awareness, I noted room for growth in the areas of Self and Relationship Management.

Our scientific understanding of ASD is progressing as medical research expands and embraces members of our ASD community at large. There is a shift within our social perspective of ASD as more mainstream information about ASD is displayed and celebrated in our technologically driven outlets such as media, internet, college coursework, workplace education, etc.  I appreciate TV shows like The Good Doctor that provide us with insight into the lives of people living with ASD; powerfully impacting our public dialogue, general education, and constructive actions.

I believe that ASD may be part of our human evolution and that our definition of “fully abled people” will also evolve over time. In the meantime, I support the concept that we are all differently-abled and that our presence on this journey is fully-enabled as a result.  It is critical for those of us who can impact social constructs within our social structures (professional workplaces, public policy, healthcare management, law, and educational systems) do so with the intention of making such places better informed, accessible, inclusive and empowered for healthy human evolution to continue for all.


tofino ’16 | sun, sand, surf


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