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2004 Resolution on 'Newborn babies and the right not to be separated from their parents'

Resolution of the 8th European Conference of EACH

March 25 – 28, 2004, in Lisbon, Portugal

The 8th EACH Conference urges all governments, health care services, professional bodies and hospitals to implement the EACH Charter from the first moment a child is born, whether it is in neonatal care, intensive care or maternity wards: Babies in hospitals have the right to have their parents with them at all times.
  • Accommodation should be offered free of charge; parents should be informed and their active participation in care and decision-making should be encouraged and supported.
  • Babies should be looked after by staff whose training and skills enable them to respond to the individual physical, emotional and developmental needs of the babies in their care.
  • Every baby should be protected from unnecessary medical treatment and investigation, and steps should be taken to prevent or mitigate physical and emotional stress and pain.
  • The team providing the treatment for babies shall ensure continuity of care.
  • The relationship between the family and the baby should be respected, bonding facilitated, and their privacy ensured.

This resolution was adopted by the 8th EACH Conference in Lisbon on March 28, 2004.

The EACH Member Organisations:

Austria: Verein Kinderbegleitung – Belgium: HU Ass. pour l'Humanisation de l'Hôpital en Pédiatrie – Finland: Suomen Nobab Finland – France: APACHE Ass. pour l'Améliorisation des Conditions d'Hospitalisation des Enfants; and Animation Loisirs à l'Hôpital – Germany: AKIK Aktionskomitee Kind im Krankenhaus Bundesverband e.V. – Greece: Ass. of Social Pediatric Friends – Iceland: Umhyggja Nobab-Iceland – Ireland: Children in Hospital Ireland (CHI) – Italy: A.B.I.O. Associazione per il Bambino in Ospedale – The Netherlands: Kind en Ziekenhuis – Norway: Nobab-Norge – Portugal: IAC Institute de Apoio à Criança-Humanisation Co-ordination – Sweden: Nobab-Sweden – Switzerland: Kind & Spital – United Kingdom: Action for Sick Children – Japan: The Network for Playtherapy & Hospital Environment for Children.

For further studies:
- The EACH Charter (1988) and Annotations (2002)
- The 10 principles of family-centred maternity care (FCMC) by Phillips + Fenwick
- The NIDCAP® Program (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program), Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA