Many parents of premature babies experience feelings of guilt, lack of sleep and depression after the delivery. Dr. Bernadette Melnyk discusses how new parents can cope with the premature birth of their child.
Bernadette Melnyk Dean, The College of Nursing, OSU
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN, is dean of the College of Nursing, associate vice president for health promotion, and chief wellness officer of Ohio State University since Sept. 15, 2011. She is spearheading health promotion and wellness programs to enhance the highest level of health, and to prevent physical and mental health disorders among faculty, staff and students.
Melnyk is a widely recognized expert in evidence-based practice, intervention research, and child
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On top of that I think it’s very important to have a good intake of antioxidants and all the protective
phytonutrients that you get in fruits and vegetables.
So eating fruits and vegetables, especially across the color spectrum, everyday is important, and I
recommend taking a good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement everyday as insurance against gaps in
I always tell parents if you are not taking care of yourself first you will not going to be able to take good care
of your preemie. So again, if you are overly fatigued, if you are highly stressed, if you are depressed, those
emotions, no matter how you try to hide them, are going to be carrying over to your baby.
It’s also interesting, in our research we found that fathers almost have a delayed response to the birth of a
preemie, unlike moms, they start responding immediately. A lot of times there is a lag time to the emotions
that fathers experience and that creates desynchrony between the mom and the dad, and a lot of times
that’s a source of conflict between those two parents because they are going through the emotional roller
coaster at different times.