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Your Premature Baby
The First Five Years

By Nikki Bradford


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Review by Allison Martin

Your Premature Baby by Nikki Bradford is an excellent resource for a new parent of a preemie. Its primary focus is on parenting your baby in the NICU, and its filled with advice on how to handle your baby, ways to provide comfort and more protection and assistance in interacting with professionals in the NICU. Overall it is a comforting book which introduces you to the astonishing world of neonatal intensive care.

Your Premature Baby explains the various levels of prematurity, causes or prematurity, what goes on in the NICU and what you can do as a parent. Chapters are also included on going home, special needs, and loss. The main focus is on what you personally can do as a parent - with information on kangaroo care, gentle touch, massage and other techniques. One of the features I really enjoyed is the numerous real life photographs of babies and families in the hospital. These colorful portraits of the babies and their families are compassionate and even inspiring.

The title is really a bit of a misnomer, as what the book does best is provide information for the new parent, especially one whose baby is doing relatively well and is not extremely premature. For someone whose situation is more fragile, I would recommend this be supplemented by one of the more extensive books in our recommendations. However, there is a broad audience for this book, as most preemies will do well in the NICU and after; for those parents this is a gentle and supportive introduction.

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