To learn more about neonatology, go to What should you expect if your baby is in the neonatal unit? (French only)
Attachment to a premature baby is a complex process for each person. For future parents, attachment starts during pregnancy, and when a baby is born prematurely, the lack of contact and privacy will interfere with the attachment process.
Some parents have difficulty attaching to their baby due to the potential risk of losing it due to their premature state or fear that they will never be “normal.” In this sense, it will take more time to establish a deep link and show their love for their baby.
At the same time, other parents will say that they are very proud of their baby who is fighting for their life. They admire their life force and will show their love for their baby from the start.
A premature baby is also a baby, a human with strengths and weaknesses. You need to promote contact between parents and babies. Parents can talk to their baby, sing them songs, have them listen to music or their voice, even if you aren’t there. You can touch them, rub them, and if you can, do the kangaroo method with them, rocking them skin-to-skin. Over time, with repeated contact, learning to know each other day to day and week to week, you will develop a feeling of attachment.
Prematurity is a World Unto Itself!
In this first article, I wanted to bring out some critical elements of prematurity. I don’t want to prepare you for a baby that will be born before term. But I know that some parents reading this will be faced with this surprise, and give you tools to learn how to deal with it.
Do you want to learn more about prematurity? Please read The World of Premature Babies: Impacts, Breastfeeding and Returning Home.
You can also watch this video about prematurity that I filmed with Dr. Véronique G. Dorval, a neonatologist and director of the neonatal clinic at CHU Sainte-Justine.
The Baby Expert