Sunday, March 15, 2009

Prematurity and Coping has an interesting article on the consequences of premature birth.

It suggests that the SBS prevention community and organizations which provide support to parents of premature infants have reason to collaborate on prevention education.

Of note:

Having established the difficulties of maternal bonding for parents of infants born premature who are separated for extended periods, it should also be noted that following discharge these infants place enormous demands on their parents. Studies that have followed premature dyads shortly after discharge are numerous, and have noted substantial differences in the premature infant as a social partner regardless of mother's emotionality.

For example, where behavioural and social differences between premature and term infants are reported, premature infants are found to be less responsive, to show less positive affect (Field, 1979), and to be less initiating and more irritable (Goldberg & DiVitto, 2002; Cox, Hopkins & Hans, 2000). These findings lead Field (1979) and others (Mangelsdorf, Plukett, Dedrick, Berlin, Meisels, McHale, & Dichtellmiller, 1996) to conceptualise the premature infant as having a relatively high threshold to social stimulation coupled with a low tolerance for behavioural stimulation.

That is, premature infants are less socially responsive and harder to soothe.

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