Premature Baby Books for Parents

There's no underplaying the fact that having a premature baby can be overwhelming for even the most informed of parents. The stresses are many; even the terminology used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can make you feel sidelined in a process in which you want to be a part.

But it doesn't have to be that way. There are a number of excellent books that can get you up to speed and empower you with the insights needed to better cope with the challenges that lie ahead.


Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies

Beautifully laid out and well designed, "Preemies" is at once comprehensive, insightful, and easy to read. Written by a neonatologist and two mothers who have had first-hand experience with premature birth, the book, now in its second edition, is a must-read.

This ultimate guide walks you through every step of the process from the birth and NICU to bringing your preemie safely home.


The Premature Baby Book

A wonderful addition to the Sears Parenting Library series, "The Premature Baby Book" is unique in that it offers valuable medical insights while addressing the frustrations and fears shared by every parent faced with a premature birth.

"The Premature Baby Book" is both comprehensive and authoritative, taking you on every step of the journey from delivery to home care. The book lays out the facts clearly and plainly, including a list of statistics, medical options, and an insightful series of Q&As written in plain English.


The Preemie Primer

"The Preemie Primer" is a great addition to a neonatal library, especially for parents whose baby was born two or more months early. Written by an obstetrician whose baby was born at 25 weeks, "The Preemie Primer" does a great job of breaking down complex medical information into something that practically anyone can understand.

Particularly useful is a section that offers advice on what's needed to bring a preemie home, as well as great tips on dealing with any insurance issues you may encounter.


Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey

Parents struggling to cope with the emotional challenges of a premature baby can find solace, motivation, and support in this wonderful book. At over 900 pages, this is certainly the longest book on this list, but also one of the most useful.

Within the pages of this comprehensive guide, you can find practical tips and solutions to better navigate the range of emotions you'll likely encounter.

Sometimes, all you really need are insights from those who have experienced what you're going through. "Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child" is just such a book.


Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood

"Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood" is a gorgeous piece of non-fiction that tells the story of Andie, a preemie born at 25 weeks, from the point of view of mother and author Kasey Matthews.

Honest, heartfelt, and often humorous, the book takes us on a journey from Andie's birth all the way to her early childhood. Every moment of joy and despair is shared, allowing the reader to better understand the challenges that can often lie ahead, as well as ways to overcome those challenges with love, patience, and determination.


The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU

Slim in size but packed with information, "The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU" was written by Deb Discenza and Nicole Conn, founder of "Preemie Magazine," both of whom experienced premature birth firsthand.

The book has both its plusses and minuses. The first half is comprised of a wonderful glossary of terms, allowing you a quick reference resource should you ever be confronted with medical jargon you don't understand. On the other hand, while the book's magazine-style layout offers nice chunks of information, the content often feels scattershot and undeveloped.

Still, for the glossary alone, "The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU" is a worthy addition to your neonatal library.


Fragile Beginnings

"Fragile Beginnings" tells the story of Larissa Wolfberg, a premature baby born at 26 weeks. As happens to some preemies in this situation, Larissa was diagnosed with a severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) just days after her birth. It's a condition that carries a risk of death of between 50 percent and 80 percent, making it one of the more terrifying conditions a parent can face.

Written by Larissa's father, specialist obstetrician Dr. Adam Wolfberg, "Fragile Journey" offers a candid and often harrowing account of Larissa's journey from surgery and recovery to early childhood. It serves to remind us that, even in the direst of circumstances, there is always hope.


For the Love of Babies

Filled with a collection of stories about NICU care and written by a neonatologist with over 25 years of experience, "For the Love of Babies" is a non-fiction book that is by turns funny, triumphant, and achingly sad.

Each story is followed by notes to explain the medical issue involved. For a parent wanting to better understand what a neonatologist does, "For the Love of Babies" offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a doctor as she works to save the smallest and most vulnerable of patients.

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