“Hamacaterapia” -aka-“Hammock-Therapy”- WOW WOW WOW!!!
Hamacaterapia began as an experiment here in Cartagena by Dr. Roberto Guardel, with a hunch that it would make premature babies sleep better. Hammocks are very much a part of everyday life here. In many of the homes I have visited in the poor neighborhoods of Cartagena there is a hammock. Many people sleep in hammocks since they are cheaper than a bed, they takes up less space, it keeps them cooler,and the rocking makes sleeping easier.
Dr. Guardel who is a pediatrician figured that if hammocks help adults relax, well maybe it would help babies too. Simple but soooo wise!
About 4 years ago he began by installing small Hammocks inside the incubators of preemies. To their surprise they found that these babies were in fact more relaxed and sleeping better. This is very important since sleep is essential in order for a preemie to gain weight.
Dr. Hernando Thorne, a neonatologist working together with Dr. Guardel opened his doors for me, and let me see their work in action!
Here I was, bringing with all my “advanced” knowledge from the modern world…..surprise surprise!
Its hard for me to put into words the feeling I had when the tables turned and the teacher became the student. Amazement, admiration, overwhelmed but most of all humbled. I felt humbled not only by the simplicity of the concept- but of how Dr. Thorne and the nurses in the clinic so calmly gave of their time to me, and let me see what they do.
Here were 4 premature babies, who are in the recuperation phase of their stay at the ICU, each in their little hammock. The hammock simulates the womb, not only in the movement which soothes them, but it also allows them to posture themselves in the fetal position with a feeling of floating or being suspended. Many times babies will form blisters on their skin from staying too long in the same position on the mattress, this is alleviated by the soft hold of the hammock. You can incline the hammock to a 30 degree angle, which will help many premies suffering from acid reflux from their immature digestive systems.