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Many preemie parents feel like one father, who admitted, “When we took our little 4-pound baby girl home, [she had been in the hospital 14 weeks] we were thinking, ‘well, now she’ll just be like a normal baby girl.’We had no idea what the next year would be like.”Since every child born is a unique individual, and every preemie’s condition depends on so many different variables, it’s impossible to precisely predict what you may encounter during your first ye

Chances are your nurse helped you bathe your preemie baby in the hospital but now that you’re home you’re struggling to remember every step. Relax; follow these six easy steps to a stress-free and relaxing bath both you and your baby will love each time. 1. Be prepared Just as you would gather supplies before making your favorite recipe, get your bath assembled in a warm environment. Choose a warm room without drafts, such as your bathroom. Turn off the phone an

During a normal pregnancy that goes to term, parents have time to work through various stages of planning and anticipation as they prepare for their babe’s arrival. When your baby is born prematurely, that all suddenly changes.Joy, grief, fear and despair—you experience the range of emotions. The dream of the perfect birth and all of your well-made plans are disrupted. Even if you’ve been confined to bed rest for some concerning complication, even when you know your c

Are you the mom of a preemie who dreads pumping milk at night while the baby is in the NICU? You’re not alone. Who can blame you? It’s inconvenient. It interrupts your sleep. And perhaps you’re discouraged that even though you are pumping every 2-3 hours during the day, your milk supply is also dwindling.While there is no solution to the fact that your milk supply follows the simple principle of supply and demand (i.e., if the demand exists, the supply will follow), th

“Just relax and breathe easy.” We hear this all the time but if you’re one of the 20 million Americans—that’s 1 in 15—who suffer from asthma, breathing is anything but easy. With asthma, your airways react to triggers like allergens or irritants and swell. As you struggle to move air in and out of your lungs, you may gasp, wheeze, cough and feel tightness in your chest, say the experts at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Left untreated, asthma

Is your newborn’s skin yellowish? Do you see yellowing in your baby’s eyes? Newborn jaundice occurs in just more than half of all babies born at term and in most (80%) preterm babies. It typically appears around day 2 or 3 post-birth, peaks at day 5, and clears by the end of baby’s first week. How jaundice begins Imagine you’re a baby, floating happily in the safety of your mother’s womb. Since your lungs aren’t active during this zero gravity experience,

Do you remember your first peek into the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU? Maybe your impression was like that of friends and family members I asked: “scary,” “surreal,” “Orwellian,” “war-zone,” or “heaven.” “Heaven?” I asked, and the mom’s eyes glistened. “Cause that’s where my baby is,” she clarified. Awww.You’re not alone if you feel helpless because life has dealt you the NICU card. Having a child in the hospital rips through emotio

Congratulations and welcome to a new stage in your life – parenthood! Or maybe this isn’t your first baby and it’s welcome back to the magic kingdom!In an instant, your new baby has changed you from a couple into a family. The irony of your new essence, parenthood, evokes what I like to call a babylove addiction, which in a poetic sense, may be likened to a line from the old Eagles song, "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." In a few months, you’ll look back

The first few weeks at home with a preemie can be especially trying, whether your baby was born at 26 or 36 weeks. Here are five things every parent should keep in mind: I got the thermoregulation blues Your born-too-early baby lacks enough fat under her skin to keep herself warm unless she is sufficiently swaddled. Don’t crank up the thermostat to 80º F (after all, Eskimos have babies, too). Instead, wrap your baby in layers, such as a body suit, followed by an

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