Life as a mom who has her hands full
Today I read an article on AOL that premature babies were less likely to marry, more shy, and less likely to leave home according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study of nearly 1 million Norwegians ages 20-36 will upset many parents of premature babies. But as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit RN for over 10 years I have a few words to say on the matter.
First of all, please remember that sooo much has changed over the last 30 years in Neonatal Medicine. In fact, since I have been a nurse, babies spend significantly less time on the ventilator and go home much, much sooner and with fewer complications than they did even 10 years ago. The children born 30 years ago probably had more “issues” that their parents had to deal with throughout the years. They were probably over protected due to their conditions and sheltered a bit. It is a natural reaction for parent’s who have come really close to loosing their babies to over protect them and keep them away from the dangers of the world, which may be the reason for their shyness.
Also, since most babies spent considerably more time on the ventilator, many premies had odd shaped heads, and chronic lung conditions which might make it a bit more difficult for them to meet and attract members of the opposite sex.
I know from experience that the vast majority of the premies we send home look no different from their full term peers….. just a little smaller. Many of them are growing with no complications and are extremely intelligent. I believe that this study, while interesting, is already outdated due to the major advances in preterm care.
If you are the parent of a premature baby…comment here..I would love to get your take on the subject.
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