How to ensure your premature baby has an emotionally healthy life


Your first instinct in caring for a tiny preemie might be to be overprotective but that may not be what's best for your growing child. Dr. Bernadette Melnyk describes how parents can ensure their premature baby has an emotionally healthy life.

Transcript I think the most important thing that I can tell a parent about how to help your child long term when they are born prematurely is not to overprotect that child and treat them really fragile. There are so many children who are born prematurely that end up having emotional and behavioral problems because of the way they are parented. Because they were born prematurely, again, a lot of times parents see those babies as fragile and as a result of that, they overprotect their children as they grow. They are afraid to discipline those children. They are afraid to limit set with those children, and as a result their children end up not developing good self- emotional regulation. So we do see a lot of behavioral and emotional problems later on in children of per-terms, not because of the prematurity, but because of the way they have been parented as fragile little children.
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  • Bernadette Melnyk

    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 more about this expert »

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