What can parents themselves do for their premature infant?
A. There are many ways for parents to be involved in the baby’s care in he hospital. Parents can stroke the baby, talk to her, help with feedings, diaper her, and bring little gifts and cards. I encourage a mother who wants to breastfeed to express milk until the baby is ready to either nurse (usually at 4 pounds) or suck from a bottle (usually at 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 pounds). Q. What family pressures do parents face with a preemie in the hospital? A. Parents become so consumed that they often forsake the rest of the family. Sometimes I advise a parent to take a day off from visiting the hospital to spend time with an older child. It’s important to help the sibling feel included. Any child older than 3 can probably come into the nursery and see what’s going on. Letting her talk about her feelings can help. The deluge of calls from well-meaning friends and relatives can feel more irritating than supportive. Parents should ask them for assistance whenever necessary. Q. Should parents seek coun