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Baby's Clutch

Zero Separation



Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian families of premature babies have faced regulations and policies that have restricted them from being present in the NICU. Our position at CPBF has always been for #ZeroSeparation between parents and their premature infants. Parents are not visitors – they are essential components of their baby’s care team. Evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates the benefit of parent-infant contact not only for the health outcomes of the baby, but for the parents as well.  


CPBF has been working hard to raise awareness and advocate for parental presence in neonatal units across the country, and it’s time to take further action. Our official national recommendations have been outlined in this document, and will be distributed directly to hospitals across the country. These recommendations are based on evidence.


Parents can use this as an advocacy tool at their local hospitals if restrictions are still in place keeping them from accessing the NICU 24/7, even when they’re healthy and not showing signs of illness.  


CPBF will continue to advocate for parents and their premature infants in the face of COVID-19 restrictions and raise awareness for #ZeroSeparation.  



POLICY BRIEF PDF – Read or download here

The global study and project report: “Zero separation. Together for better care! Infant and family-centred developmental care in times of COVID-19 – A global survey of parents’ experiences” was launched during a digital live event. The alarming key findings of the global survey were presented, highlighting the very personal experiences of parents worldwide in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across Canada families have experienced the heartache of being separated from their babies amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lock down restrictions.

Sadly, this painful experience is a common reality in hospitals around the world where parents of sick or premature babies are not fully integrated in the care of their infants. In Canada, parents usually have 24/7 access to their baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery. During COVID-19 some units introduced a limit of only one parent at a time or limited the hours parents could be present in the NICU.




CPBF in collaboration with the International Family Integrated Care (FICare) committee released a position statement on Parental presence in Neonatal Units during SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in 2020. Click here to read the full statement.


The most recently publication, March 2021, reviews the evidence on safety of maintaining family integrated care practices and the effects of restricting parental participation in neonatal care during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Click here. 

We have also collaborated with the Global Alliance for Newborn Care (the global initiative of EFCNI), have launched the Zero Separation global campaign to keep preterm and sick babies close to their parents. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness for the benefits of zero separation of preterm and sick babies and their parents in the NICU whether they’re in a pandemic or not.

To find out more about the 'Zero separation. Together for better care!' campaign in more than 20 languages, 


In February 2021, our executive director Fabiana Bacchini spoke at the EPIQ conference about the situation and how the restrictions are impacting families in Canada.

parents as essential cg
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