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10 Things Not To Say To Parents Of Preemies - featured June 30, 2011

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Special Thanks to our friend Deb Discenza of Preemie World for the heads up on this article

[Source: WBUR.org]

She meant well, to be sure. My friend, one of the most supportive people I know, had come to visit me in the hospital as I cuddled my prematurely born son, who was still hooked up to various tubes and looking more like an alien fetus than a baby.

“Oh,” she cooed when she saw him, “he’s a little monkey baby!”

That 4-pound preemie, born two months early, is now quite a sturdy boy of almost seven, but the sting of that long-ago remark came back instantly when I read a new report titled “Insensitive Comments And Their Impact On Preemie Mothers.” Compiled by an on-line community hosted by the company Inspire, it aims to document the emotional damage that wrongheaded remarks can wreak, and help the public do better.

About 12% of American babies are born prematurely — a half-million babies a year — posing quandaries to all who know the parents. If a baby is still facing myriad, potentially life-threatening complications, is it right to say “Congratulations”? On the other hand, will you offend the parents by not saying it? What about commenting on a baby’s size or looks? Mentioning possible silver linings?

Read the Rest of this Article on WBUR.org

Tags: Article Preemie Newsletter 1 July 2011