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Alan Sleater
English 1010-015
8-5-14
Trenton Judson
Tender Loving Care
Family is a big part of our society today. And one thing that defines our society and
culture, is our family traditions. One family tradition, in particular, that everyone seems to have
their own spin on, is making homemade candy. Homemade candy is one holiday tradition that
gets passed on from generation to generation. Not all of the final batches are perfect, but they
certainly do make the holiday special. Another tradition that defines our culture is raising
children. From the beginning moments of your childs birth, to the first day of school, there are
so many things that parents need to look out for, especially for premature infants. Parents with
premature infants have many decisions to make in regards to how they should take care of their
child. Some parents will favor traditional methods of raising their child, while others desire more
training and information about taking care of their child. But for poor people in the world, this
decision is not a matter of personal desire, but of social stature. A medical survey was able to
share some of their findings about newborn education. Although high-risk populations may
benefit more from long-term hospital and home intervention, the significant economic and
personnel expenditures involved in offering such programs may be prohibitive (Kadivar 116).
This would cause many of our cultures and traditions to die out. How does this relate to us today
you may ask? Well the more we know about the early development of children, the better we can
prepare for the wellbeing of the future generation. Therefore, as parents are more educated about
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their child, then preterm infants can receive adequate attention that will promote proper growth
and development, both emotionally and physically.
Parents of preterm infants can provide better care for their child when they receive
training about their newborn. In a study that was done in Iran, by Maliheh Kadivar, a professor
from the Tehran University of Medical Science, she gave a report of the survey, fathers with
premature infants (Kadivar Second). The group of fathers were given a survey about preterm
infants. The survey was made to test the knowledge of the first time fathers, which did not have
any previous experience with children. Before the survey was given, part of the group of fathers
were given an intervention class, named HUG Your Baby, on their preterm newborn, to help
them understand how to take care of their child. Premature newborns are not like other
newborns, they require special medical attention to develop properly, let alone survive. Here is
some of the findings from the survey, This study confirms that incorporating HUG Your Baby
into the care of fathers with a preterm baby can increase those fathers' knowledge of newborn
behavior and, as previous research suggests, is also likely to boost a parent's confidence and to
promote the parent-child relationship (Kadivar, 117). The study was able to show that giving
parents information about their child would help them get better understand where they can get
help for their baby when they need it. This would be the ideal situation for poor countries that are
struggling to survive. The parents would know what behavior was normal for their child and
know when to rush their child to the hospital.
When parents receive training about their childs condition, transition from the hospital to
home can be smoother. Premature infants spend several weeks or months in the hospital
recovering immensive care and attention from doctors and nurses. This may limit the time the
parents have with their child, making them feel unprepared for parenthood. In a study about the
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experience of having a preterm newborn, by Koal Whittingham, a psychologist who graduated
from the University of Queensland, parents were taught about their childs physical condition.
Here is a description of what parents were informed about their child, Infants born very preterm
are at risk for a range of developmental and behavioral problems later in life including
attentional problems, hyperactivity, educational difculties, externalizing behavioral problems
and adjustment difculties (Whittingham, 1050). After receiving this information, along with
some extra training, the parents can make a decision on how to take care of their child. Even
though the child is in grate care there is always a chance for complications. When it is time to
come home, the parents can feel somewhat at ease after hearing about the options that they have
in taking care of their child. But not all parents feel the same way. Because of having a child
premature, the parents are given a whole new set of responsibilities that they never dreamed of.
And this, for some parents, may cause more stress to the parent when they hear that their child
may need more tests, and even therapy, to return back to normal growth and development.
As parents come to understand their childs medical condition, then they can provide the
proper attention needed to stimulate proper development later in life. In a study from children
with behavioral problems in elementary school, by Greg Eghigian, PhD, former Director of the
Science, Technology, and Society Program of Penn State University, children were given
different forms of therapy to help them deal with their emotions. Here is some of the
observations from the study, Children with behavior problems were referred by the teachers and
came to the "playroom" once a week for six months. The therapist was extremely permissive at
first, allowing the children freedom to choose any of the activities: clay modeling, woodworking,
puppetry, rhythms, and the like. All but one of the children showed "improvement" in
personality patterns at the end of the experiment (Eghigian, 891). After the children were given
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this personal attention through play therapy, the children were able to gain the necessary skills
needed to cope with life. This research showed that having interaction with a child will help
them become develop normally. Unfortunately not all children can change with therapy, and
some parents are reluctant to give it to them. Because of this some parents result to giving
medication to their children, some of which can have lasting effects on their life. Early and
frequent interaction with their child can promote proper brain activity. When parents are in the
hospital with their child they have the opportunity to interact with them. In a study about baby
facial responses, by Carol Malatesta, writer of The Development of emotion expression during
the first two years of life, tests were done to see the relationship of parents and their normal or
preterm baby just through facial interaction. The researched involved mothers changing their
facial reactions to see if the child would mimic the response. Although some parents lost hope
for their premature child, in developing normally, the study was able to show the long term
evidence of inter action with their child. The modeling hypothesis is that if children learn to
modify their rate of certain classes of facial expression over time by observing the mother's
modal pattern, then the direction of influence should be chiefly from mother to infant (Eghigian,
323). This showed that as time went on the interaction of parents with their child was able to
help them develop normally. Unfortunately with some parents of premature infants they are
reluctant to interact with their child at home for free of casing stress or overstimulation to their
child. By interacting with your child this study shows that you can help the development of your
child just through your facial expressions.
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Physical touch of a parent and a child will do more for the development of the infant then
just show love. Premature children have a rough life ahead of them. They are struggling with the
constant battle of survival. One of the most torturous battles premature infants are forced with is
to stay worm and fight infection. So the traditional way of keeping the baby safe is to put them in
an incubator, providing them with extra heat and an environment away from life threatening
germs. After child birth, parents long to be with their child without all the tubes and cords
connected to their newborn. One option parents can choose to do for their premature infant, other
than keeping them in an incubator, is to practice Kangaroo Mother Care. In a research study by
Ylva Blomqvist, an RN from the Department of Women's and Children's Health, the new
technique to care for a premature newborn, provides immensive results, compared to the
incubator way of caring for a premature infant. The article gives a brief explanation of Kangaroo
Mother Care, It consists of early, prolonged, and continuous, or for as long and as often as
circumstances permit, skin-to-skin contact between the low-birth weight infant and her/his
mother or a substitute for her, such as the father (Blomqvist, 345) There are several advantages
of KMC, such as reduced risk of hypothermia, as even extremely preterm infants are able to
maintain their body temperature during skin-to-skin contact, shorter duration of hospital stay,
and positive effects on infants perceptual, cognitive, emotional and physical development
(Blomqvist, 346). This is a wonderful option for parents to choose, but there is a great demand
for this technique. The parent would need to dedicate long periods of time being in physical
contact with the baby, thus restricting regular day to day activitys such as laundry, cooking,
showering, and sleeping. Many mothers were discouraged with the practice because they felt
alone away from the doctors and nurses, so they resulted to the traditional method which allowed
more time with the medical staff.
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When parents are more educated about their childs condition the parents can provide
their infant with the medical care that is best for them and their child. The more parents are
educated the more options are open to them. When parents are educated about the premature
infant development process, they will be ready for the transition to home. Children that have
frequent personal interaction with others are able to develop emotions normally. Infants that get
attention are able to grow more cognitive awareness. Physical nurture can provide a solution to
getting your premature child on track. There are many options parents can choose to take when
they are having a newborn, especially a preemie. When parents decide to learn more about their
child and the options for care, then they are providing their child with the necessary tools to grow
and develop the way regular children would.










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Works Cited
Blomqvist, Ylva, Thernstrm, et al. "Provision Of Kangaroo Mother Care: Supportive Factors
And Barriers Perceived By Parents." Scandinavian Journal Of Caring Sciences 27.2
(2013): 345-353. CINAHL Complete. Web. 29 July 2014.
Eghigian, Greg. From Madness To Mental Health: Psychiatric Disorder And Its Treatment In
Western Civilization. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2010. eBook
Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 July 2014.
Kadivar, Maliheh Maryam Mozafarinia, Seyedeh. "Supporting Fathers In A NICU: Effects Of
The HUG Your Baby Program On Fathers' Understanding Of Preterm Infant Behavior."
Journal Of Perinatal Education 22.2 (2013): 113-119. Alt HealthWatch. Web. 29 July
2014.
Kadivar, Maliheh Second. Maliheh Kadivar. tums.ac.ir. 2014 Web. 31 July 2014
Malatesta, Carol Zander, et al. "Emotion Socialization And Expressive Development In Preterm
And Full-Term Infants." Child Development 57.2 (1986): 316. Academic Search
Premier. Web. 29 July 2014.
Whittingham, Koa1, koawhittingham@uq.edu.au, et al. "Parenting And Prematurity:
Understanding Parent Experience And Preferences For Support." Journal Of Child &
Family Studies 23.6 (2014): 1050-1061. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 29
July 2014.