November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. In honor of World Prematurity Day on November 17, Karin Lindfors, family liaison and coordinator of the Oliver, Ian and Serenity Wolk Fragile Beginnings program, shares her experiences working with preemies and their parents.

created at: 2012-11-16Imagine…you have always wanted to be a mom. You and your partner have tried for five years to get pregnant. You have gone to countless appointments, endured dozens of procedures and suffered numerous losses along the way. Finally you make it past 24 weeks in your pregnancy. But then your blood pressure soars or your cervix shortens or you are told your baby is not growing. Suddenly you, your partner, and your baby are thrust unready into a whole new world – the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a place of life and death, screens and beeps, and scary diagnoses –  a place teeming with uncertainties. Your baby has been born prematurely.

This is the not the pregnancy or birth story any parent expects. One in 8 babies in the United States and 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely each year. The Oliver, Ian and Serenity Wolk Fragile Beginnings program of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support (CERS) provides emotional support, developmental guidance, and connection to community resources for parents of prematurely-born babies. Fragile Beginnings seeks to nurture parents so they can nurture their babies.

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