A Preemie Primer
|By: Kerry Bone|
|This column is specifically designed to
better prepare friends and family through knowledge and understanding to deal more
empathetically and compassionately with the different feelings and needs of a preemie
parent. Of course, the information is merely a guideline toward understanding feelings and
should be ultimately be discussed with the parents to communicate effectively.
The following list is a guide to better understand why a preemie parent may avoid certain situations. It can also help to explain some of the reactive behavior a parent may exhibit when they encounter one of these hazards. You might see the parent respond to these types of encounters with behavior such as anger, pain, fear, distress, sorrow or depression. Or you might notice the parent seems out of it for a few days or weeks following the experience. This is normal and to be expected.
Some of the common obstacles that can cause increased pain and suffering in a preemie
As you now see, it can be quite difficult to escape painful encounters when you are a preemie parent. Many situations act as reminders to the loss they suffer, the pain they grieve, as well as a constant comparison of their childs development and health. It is important for friends and family to understand these painful reactions can take months and years to resolve. While it is not possible for you, the friend, to eliminate each of these encounters for the parent, you can be better prepared for the parents reaction if you know what red-flag situations are in advance. By understanding that these times might be stressful and full of emotions, you will be able to understand their need for an empathetic listener and/or a shoulder on which to cry if it arises.
|Kerry Bone is mom to Tyler, 31 weeker, now 19 months. She is co-founder of Dallas Preemie Partners, a support group for NICU parents. Check out her website: Survival Tips for Preemie Parents at http://members.aol.com/KBone91/tbone.html|
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