February 1, 1985

The Premature Baby Book: A Parent's Guide to Coping and Caring in the First Years

Author Affiliations

Harvard University Boston


by Helen Harrison, with Ann Kositsky, 274 pp, with illustrations by Anne Hawkins, paper, $15.95, New York, St Martin's Press Inc, 1983.

JAMA. 1985;253(5):692. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350290098037

The Premature Baby Book by Helen Harrison with Ann Kositsky is an outstanding addition to the lay literature about preterm birth. Parents faced with the sudden problem of a tiny baby who often requires neonatal intensive care need a source both of information for immediate help in understanding the complex medical problems faced by their newborns and of long-term guidance in what to expect after taking their baby home. This book is also an excellent source of services and organizations that can be of help to the new parent of a preterm newborn.

The book can be viewed as having three sections. The first, chapters 1 through 4, deals with the immediate crisis of the birth. Parents often go through periods of anger and then guilt. In the second chapter, "Why Me?" the authors review the myriad reasons for preterm birth and emphasize that the parents cannot blame themselves. In