Parents of the approximately 11 percent of babies born prematurely (prior to 37 weeks gestation) will find this title a highly valuable resource guide, offering detailed medical information and emotional support. Authors Alan H. Klein, M.D., and Jill Alison Ganon, who deem prematurity "a different beginning," combine the experience of Klein's 25 years as a pediatrician and neonatologist with the assuring point of view of parents who have been there.
Having a baby early births a host of medical complications, such as respiratory, vision, and hearing problems. Parents of premature infants are often plunged unprepared into the mysterious world of medical acronyms, for example: NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit); RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome); CLD (chronic lung disease); and ROP (retinopathy of prematurity). In chapters focusing on respiratory, neurological, and nutritional needs, as well as vision and hearing problems, Klein and Ganon describe medical conditions, treatments, and options so parents can make the best decisions. Chapters on changing expectations, parenting a child in the neonatal unit, and taking baby home balance the medical with the emotional issues of parenting a premature child. "Pessimism serves no purpose whatsoever," writes Klein. Indeed, the true-life stories and photographs of premature infants developing into healthy, rounded babies and children offer an overwhelming sense of hope and encouragement. --Ericka Lutz
About the Author
Dr. Alan Klein is a pediatrician and neonatologist who has been caring for premature and high-risk infants for nearly twenty-five years. He is a member of the clinical faculty of the highly regarded Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was also the medical director of a pediatric home health care company.