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Special care babies are at the centre of a complex system of relationships involving both family members and professionals. Prematurity, disability and life-threatening situations create a crisis which is likely to have a different meaning for each participant. Each baby's developing relationships will both influence and be influenced by relationships within the hospital and the family system. Special Care Babies and their Developing Relationships puts professionals in touch with how babies, their parents and the staff who care for them actually experience neonatal care. The book explores institutional, cultural and family beliefs about prematurity and considers the differences in beliefs and in needs of parents and staff. Anne McFadyen argues that to support the key mother-child relationship, these differences must be acknowledged, as they are at the heart of the relationship between two crucial systems which have the power to influence the baby's survival and the rest of his or her life.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Parent-Child Relationships from Different Perspectives; The `Special Care' Baby; Holding on to Meaning; Observations in a Special Care Baby Unit; Stories from a Special Care Baby Unit; Observer and Observed; Making Sense of the Experience; Case Studies; Therapeutic Interventions; The Future; Concluding Comments
A significant contribution to our understanding of the various worlds of the neonatal nursery ... a wealth of insight to be gained from this book which should certainly help any neonatal nurses who want `to hold on to meaning' in their work. - Nursing Times
There has been a dearth of literature considering premature babies and the bonding process. This book more than adequately redresses the balance. All NICU nurses and midwives, and those looking after parents with babies in special care should read it. - Midirs - Midwifery Digest
Essential reading for therapists about to extend their service into a neonatal intensive care unit. - NAPOT Newsletter
The individual observations are vivid and moving, and beautifully detailed ... This book serves as a very useful introduction to an important and still relatively neglected, area of infant development and mental health. It offers a helpful review of the research in the field for all professionals who are working in these special-care units, as well as anybody who is interested in research into prematurity and the complex system of relationships that involve both family members and professionals - Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
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