Focus on Your Child

Advice for new preemie parents.

An Interview with Kimberly Powell, by Allison Martin

My first advice for new preemie parents is to focus on your child. Parents, doctors and nurses repeatedly told me to focus on my daughter, for she matters most. This was valuable advice for watching her in the NICU beyond the monitors and leads. It is valuable now in watching her grow and develop. Watching my daughter’s coloring told me more than the monitors.

Secondly, educate yourself on all related to prematurity. If you are focusing on your child you may be the one that identifies a milestone or concern, before the medical professionals that don't see your child everyday. Education through the internet and printed materials prepares you to be the strongest advocate for your child.

Above all, love your child unconditionally for you are their greatest resource!

While compiling the preemie stories and interviewing parents for my book, Living Miracles, I learned that I was not alone. The love of a parent is a child’s greatest gift. Reading literally hundreds of stories about preemies I learned I was not alone in my feelings or experiences. Preemie parents belong to an exclusive club we did not choose. We are all similar in feeling shock, and experiencing something other than the dream birth experience.

Yet as similar as we are in feelings and experiences, the outcomes of our preemies can be so different. The final lesson is that all the parents I interviewed, regardless of their child or situation, love their child unconditionally. It is this love that is a theme in the book and the greatest hope for our children.

Kimberly Powell is the co-author of the book Living Miracles.