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Your Premature Baby

By Frank P. Manginello, Theresa Foy Digeronimo

Your Premature Baby By Frank P. Manginello, Theresa Foy Digeronimo
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Reviewed by: Allison Martin

Manginello and Digeronimo's book, Your Premature Baby : Everything You Need to Know About Childbirth, Treatment, and Parenting, is written for the parent who has just arrived (or is about to arrive) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with their premature baby. Written by a neonatologist and pediatric specialist, the tone of the book is calm and unintimidating. It is an excellent introduction for the new parent to the overwhelming and often frightening environment of the NICU.

Chapters cover important prematurity topics such as routine medical care for a preemie, medical complications, caring for a preemie, going home, and emotions. The primary focus is on parenting in the NICU. One of its excellent features is the division of sections by birth weight and age. Stage of development, care and treatment, and impact of prematurity on the child and parents are addressed for each range.

Your Premature Baby : Everything You Need to Know About Childbirth, Treatment, and Parenting stresses the importance of looking to your doctor as your first source of information. The text and design is kept simple so that it can easily be read by an anxious parent under stress. Up to date information is interspersed with parents' quotes. Indeed, family stories are followed for a longer period of time than in many books on prematurity, up to later development stages of the children.

The writing is cogent and authoritative. Frequencies, diagnosis, and an excellent discussion of treatment (including course, prognosis and what is commonly done) are provided. Even a current discussion of ethical issues is included (which will be familiar to members of the preemie-child and preemie-l support groups). However, some major problems are not addressed (for example, blindness, reflux, cerebral palsy), and if your stay in the NICU is a long one you probably will wish to read one of the other books on prematurity as well. However, if you are new to the NICU, have a relatively smooth course in the NICU, or want to share your experience with a friend or family member - this is a great book.

Quotes from the book:

"From my years of working with the parents of preemies, I know that in your heightened emotional state, the desire to listen and understand may not always keep up with your ability to pay attention. This book will give you the kind of reinforcement that will help those facts 'sink in.'"

"It's apparent that looking only at the financial costs of medical care is short sighted. It's important to remember that the vast major of premature babies grow to be healthy, contributing member of society. Issac Newton, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Renoir, Anna Pavlova and Sidney Poitier were all born premature."

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