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Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey
by Deborah L. Davis, Mara Tesler Stein

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Review by Allison Martin

The premature birth of your child tosses you and your family into a whirlwind of emotions, where it seems you will never touch down. This book is your guiding hand to the new land emotions and feelings that beset you in this remarkable experience. Davis and Stein provide an exemplary map to the roller coaster ride you have embarked upon - from the first shock of the news and sight of your newborn child to the roller coaster ride in the NICU and on to the peaks and valleys of your time at home. I don't think there is one aspect of the emotional journey of preemie parenting that they have left untouched - if you can feel it, it is here! Topics include the emotional implications of early delivery, physical recovery, the NICU experience, settling in at home, development and growth, caregiver challenges, special needs, moving on, subsequent pregnancies and much more.

You will find yourself referring back to this soothing counterpoint at each stage of your emotional journey - from your time in the NICU, to coming home, seeking medical evaluations, and subsequent birthdays. An amazing 900 pages long (!) - it is chockfull of helpful advice. Just look at a small sample of useful topics: wanting to feel like a parent, meeting the challenges of breast-feeding in the NICU, the challenges of being informed, finding caregivers you can trust, the brain-behavior connection, balancing hopes and fears, and managing heightened vigilance. Preemie parents who have trekked this road before you can testify that the emotional journey of parenting a preemie can last the life time. The authors' thoughtful analysis and advice are backed by heart-felt quotes from experienced parents in the Preemie Child and Preemie-L support groups, which will surely touch your heart. This is the most comprehensive resource on emotions related to parenting a preemie (or any child with special needs) that you will find. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a preemie.

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