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Brave and Strong: A Preemie's Journey

Brave and Strong: A Preemie's Journey


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This easy-to-read picture book imagines a premature baby’s journey into the world, told from the baby's perspective. The title, Brave and Strong, characterizes the mood of the book, which is meant to encourage moms and other family members about the inherent urgency for survival that these newborns possess. While not avoiding the serious issues cased by stress and risk that exist on all parts (mothers, families, child’s), Brave and Strong presents a positive outcome with a successful birth and love as triumphant.

Premature births, defined as anything less than 39 weeks of gestation, have been growing in recent years, particularly among certain populations in the U.S. Worldwide, the statistics remain at about 11 percent of all births, which is a sizeable proportion, meaning that over 15 million infants are at risk in this way. The good news, however, is that for those who have access to pregnancy counseling, nutrition services and hospital care, particularly the presence of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (N-I-C-U), the rates can be decreased. chances of survival increased and long-term negative effects greatly diminished. The authors, as well as the team at Hohm Press, are proud to present this small contribution toward increasing the positive mental and emotional energy that can support mother and child at this critical time.

The need for this book was expressed by WIC agencies in the U.S., as the populations they serve are often more likely to experience premature births. Both author and illustrator interviewed the parents of preemies and created this book with a view to encouraging other parents in similar situations. They also consulted with doulas, midwives and NICU nurses in their attempt to present an authentic story, while still understanding that this one tale is not the same for all.

Like the infant she describes in this book, author Michelle Hackney has herself “beats the odds” in life. As a Latina coming from a single-parent, low-income household in a gang-infested town, she is actively trying to make the world a better place by advocating for children and for women's rights. Her first book, Mama’s Leche, also illustrated by her cousin, Mia Ortiz, has already become a success and is helping to change the way the world is looking at breastfeeding.

Ortiz’s illustrations are warm and true, without being overly clinical. .A colorful and compelling piece that will serve as an educational tool for years to come.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942493518
Publisher: Hohm Press
Publication date: 05/15/2020
Series: Family and World Health Series
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range: 2 Years

About the Author

Michelle Hackney is a full-time homeschooling mother of five and writer living in Las Cruces, N.M. Michelle is an advocate for breastfeeding, children’s rights and attachment parenting. A former journalist, her previous experiences include programs for “at-risk” female students (from juvenile detention centers, young mothers, pregnant teens, etc). She is dedicated to fostering connections through trust and respect as the ideal way for parents to raise secure, independent and happy children. Intensive parenting education courses have been augmented by a BA in English and Creative Writing.

An illustrator and public-school art teacher, Mia lives in El Paso, TX, with her husband and two sons. She offers private art instruction for people with special needs and is passionate about encouraging and building self-confidence in children by using art as a tool to communicate emotions. She has a BA in Studio Drawing from Belhaven U., Jackson, MI, and studied at the N.Y. Center of Arts and Media Studies. Prior community outreach included volunteering through AMERICORPS and serving as a nurturing mentor to children with life threatening diseases and cognitive disabilities.

Read an Excerpt

BRAVE and STRONG That’s what I am!

Courage of a lion

Might of a ram.

A baby who came early

On a twirly-whirly ride…

That was sometimes scary,

And I worried—yes, I cried!

But GO! my heart said

And my brain answered YES!

My body said HURRY!

It’s no time to rest

There’s fun to be had,

And songs to sing

Dreams to live

And Love to bring

Amidst doctors and nurses,

Nights in N-I-C-U

Incubators and wristbands

I’m dreaming of you.

This journey brought heartache

But deep down I knew

That the stronger I tried, the braver I grew.

Tiny little hands.

Tiny little toes.

Slowly, slowly

Life force grows

And Love flows

Brave and strong, together.

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