The Premature Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Premature Baby from Birth to Age One

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This major new addition to the Sears Parenting Library is a comprehensive, authoritative, and reassuring guide for parents of premature babies. 20 line drawings & photos.

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The Premature Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Premature Baby from Birth to Age One

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This major new addition to the Sears Parenting Library is a comprehensive, authoritative, and reassuring guide for parents of premature babies. 20 line drawings & photos.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316738224
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 273,142
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Premature Baby Book

By William Sears Robert Sears James Sears Martha Sears

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2004 William Sears and Martha Sears
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-73822-0

Chapter One


Early in my pediatric career I had the privilege of being a "preemie doctor." After spending five months as a resident in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the largest children's hospital in the world, I went on to become an associate ward chief in this NICU, a position I held for the next four years. In the mornings, I would supervise and teach pediatric interns and residents in the NICU, and in the afternoon, I would see many of the NICU "graduates" in my office for routine pediatric care. I enjoyed the best of both worlds as a pediatrician: the medical challenges of the high-tech NICU, and the fun of watching babies grow up in a general pediatric practice.

An exciting change from when I worked in the NICU in the 1970s is the amazing survival of younger and smaller preemies today. I remember we used to give a 3-pound preemie only a 50 percent chance of survival, and a 1-or 2-pound preemie had an even grimmer prognosis. Now I am excited to see virtually all "3-pounders" thrive, most without any long-term complications, and more than half of 1-pound preemies survive. Modern neonatology care is nothing short of miraculous. While it has been many years since I was the doctor in charge of hospitalized preemies, I have continued to care for NICU graduates in my office. Working together, my sons, Dr. Jim and Dr. Bob, who are now my partners in the Sears Family Pediatric Practice, my wife, Martha, who as a lactation consultant has helped many mothers work through the challenges of breastfeeding a preemie, and I have learned what helps parents of preemies and their babies thrive. Not only do we enjoy watching the babies grow, but we also find it very rewarding to watch the parents grow to become capable, sensitive caregivers.

After years of observing babies and parents together, we have come to believe that the need level phenomenon is at work in special ways in parents of preemies. Every baby is born with certain needs. Some babies, especially preemies, have greater and more complex needs than other babies have. Premature infants needed more time in the womb but didn't get it. So they need more care outside the womb to make up for lost time. When parents are given accurate information and are empowered with parenting tools that nurture their attachment to their baby, their caregiving skills rise to a higher level, a level that matches the higher need level of their preemie. As a result, parents and their preemies bring out the best in one another.

Throughout the first few weeks or even months of your preemie's life, you may feel overwhelmed by the high-tech medical care. All the machines and medicines will help make it possible for you to take a healthy baby home from the hospital, but they may leave you feeling like an outsider, not a parent. For your own sake and that of your baby, you need to get involved in your preemie's care. Yet there will be times when you don't want to be "part of the medical team" or to become a wizard in medical technology. You just want to be the best mother or father you can be for your baby. While the medical team can take care of baby's physical needs, it's up to you to make it possible for your baby to thrive. "Thriving" means not only growing by getting heavier and taller, it means growing physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

When we were interviewing parents of preemies about what they felt a book on caring for their baby should contain, we frequently heard, "I'm tired of books telling me everything that can go wrong!" Instead, we have taken a positive approach. The Premature Baby Book focuses on what parents can do to lessen the chances of things going wrong. Throughout the book you will find helpful tips, shared feelings, and lessons learned from parents who have been there before you. Their words appear in short italicized sections.

Because of advances in neonatal care, nowadays most preemies survive and grow. Yet, whether or not your baby thrives depends not only on the medical care but also on the special care you provide. What helps babies thrive? Interaction with other human beings. You nurture your baby with your milk, your eyes, your voice, your skin, your touch, your love. Others may have the special knowledge to help your baby overcome medical challenges, but you are the person most dedicated to giving your special baby a special kind of parenting. Let's get started!


Excerpted from The Premature Baby Book by William Sears Robert Sears James Sears Martha Sears Copyright © 2004 by William Sears and Martha Sears. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

A Word from Dr. Bill ix
Part I Parenting Your Preemie in the Hospital 1
Chapter 1 The First Day--The Top 10 Questions About Premature Babies 3
Chapter 2 Navigating the NICU 14
First Impressions 14
Profile of a Preemie 16
All Wired Up for Intensive Care 17
Finding Friends in the NICU--A Tale of Two Families 19
Be Nice to the Nurses 22
NICU Rules You Should Know 23
NICU Communication Tips 25
Who's Who in the NICU 27
Confessions of a NICU Doctor 29
Chapter 3 Neonatology 101--A Primer for Parents of Preemies 32
Respiratory System 33
Neurologic System 35
Cardiovascular System 36
Gastrointestinal System 39
Temperature Regulation 40
Infection Control 41
Routine Nursing Care 41
Blood Tests 44
Chapter 4 Working Through Your Fears and Feelings 48
Robbed 48
Unnatural 49
Overwhelmed 49
On an Emotional Roller Coaster 50
Ambivalent 50
Not Close to Your Baby 51
Hating Waiting 52
Doing Double Duty 52
Separation Anxiety 52
Stranger Anxiety 53
Bedside Boredom 53
Helpless 53
Guilty 54
Afraid 55
Prone to Meltdowns 55
Depressed 56
Dreaming About D-Day 56
Chapter 5 Helping Your Baby Grow in the Hospital 57
Be Your Best at Baby's Bedside 57
Learn Stage-Appropriate Stimulation 59
Provide Breast Milk for Your Baby 64
Become Familiar with Your Baby's Care 66
Practice Kangaroo Care 68
Decorate Your Preemie's Hospital "Nursery" 75
Take Good Care of Yourself 76
Part II Feeding Your Preemie 81
Chapter 6 Mother's Milk--The Perfect Food for Preemies 83
Why Mother's Milk Is So Special for Preemies 83
Why Breastfeeding Is So Special for Mothers of Preemies 90
How Breastfeeding Works 92
Pumping Milk for Your Preemie 93
Chapter 7 Feeding Your Preemie at the Breast 104
When Can You Start? 104
"Get Acquainted with the Breast" Feedings 104
First Latch-On Feedings 105
Is Baby Getting Enough Milk? 112
Breastfeeding Your Preemie at Home 114
Feeding Questions You May Have 116
Chapter 8 Bottlefeeding Your Preemie 121
First Feedings 121
Special Precautions 122
Special Techniques 124
How Much? How Often? 125
Choosing a Formula 128
Formula Allergies 129
Night Feedings 130
Part III Parenting Your Preemie at Home 133
Chapter 9 Homecoming 135
Preparing for D-Day 135
Feelings You May Have 139
Making a Home for Your Baby 140
Setting Up Your Team of Helpers 142
Handling Siblings 143
First Visit to Baby's Doctor 146
Chapter 10 Developing a Parenting Style That's Best for Preemies 148
The Seven Baby B's 148
How Attachment Parenting Helps Preemies Grow--What Science Says 164
Chapter 11 Common Concerns During the First Year 166
Feeding Concerns 166
Developmental Concerns 170
Nine Ways to Help Your Preemie's Development 172
Early Intervention Programs 174
Traveling with Preemies--When and How? 176
Parenting Twins and Multiples 179
Chapter 12 Medical Challenges for the Premature Baby 183
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) 183
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) and Chronic Lung Disease (CLD) 184
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) 186
Reactive Airway Disease (RAD) 188
Air Leaks 188
Anemia 189
Apnea of Prematurity 191
Jaundice, or Hyperbilirubinemia 193
Hearing Loss 194
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 195
Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) 198
Infections 200
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) 201
Strabismus 202
Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) 202
Hydrocephalus 203
Cerebral Palsy (CP) 205
Hernia 205
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) 206
Seizures 207
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) 207
If Your Baby Dies--Grieving 209
Appendices 213
1. Weight Conversion Table 213
2. Discharge Resources 215
3. Plotting Your Preemie's Growth in the NICU 217
4. Plotting Your Baby's Growth Through the First Year 221
5. Newborn and Infant CPR 225
Glossary of Medical Terms 229
Resources 235
Index 237
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    for when you take an 'older' preemie home

    this book is, of course, slanted toward attachment parenting, and that's fine. it is a mindset most older preemies would really benefit from once they're home. HOWEVER, it certainly wasn't written with my micropreemie in mind. it's more for care when you're home and less about time in the hospital, and we spent 7 1/2 months in the hospital. it's hard to nearly impossible to sling-wear a baby on oxygen, i pumped for 9 months but he never really nursed, it just wasn't a book of practical information for me personally. *but* if you have an 'older' preemie and are leaning toward attachment parenting, it could be a worthwhile resource.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    A great help during a difficult time.

    My sister bought me this book when I had my son (born at 26 weeks and weighing in at 1 lb 1oz) There is just so much information being thrown at you and so many emotions, that this book allowed me to take it in a little slower (acted as additional information to what the doctors told me) and also prepared me for other things that I could expect. I loved this book so much that when my cousin had a preemie I bought this book for her as well.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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