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Hospital launches NICU reading program

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Posted at 8:15 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 09:15:49-04

MISHAWAKA, IN (WNDU/CNN) — A new program in Indiana is aiming to help NICU babies with their development by reading to them.

The new program at Saint Joseph Medical Center is launching the program for babies and their families.

"Premature infants are at really high risk of speech delays," said Dr. Julie West, Neonatologist and Medical Director of the NICU at Saint Joseph. "Reading is one of those ways we can improve the outcomes."

Many studies show benefits of reading to babies, specifically in the NICU. They’re at a higher risk of delays because they are premature. They have different issues that can happen in the NICU that can change brain development, West said.