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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1983 Aug;25(4):459-65.

The effects of premature birth on parents and their relationship.


This study examined the effects of a relatively low-risk premature birth on the parents and their relationship. The results indicate that the birth caused a crisis in the immediate postpartum period, but that distress decreased once the babies were at home. At one month and seven months after discharge, parents of both preterm and fullterm infants described their feelings in similar ways--the only difference at one month was that mothers of fullterm infants were more upset than those in the preterm group. Parents of preterm babies became more attuned to each other with time than did parents of fullterm infants, and only preterm mothers became pregnant within the 26 months following their first baby's birth. Mothers in both groups rated themselves as more distressed than fathers throughout the study period, which suggests that within the low-risk preterm sample, becoming a mother for the first time had more impact than did giving birth prematurely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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