New parents who must leave a premature baby behind in the hospital may have feelings of guilt and depression because their infant remains behind. This is not at all uncommon. But punishing themselves with guilt and depression will not help these distraught parents care for their premature baby.
There may be friction or uneasiness between new parents in a situation such as this. Often, mothers have had an immediate feeling of attachment to their premature baby, whereas it's not usual for fathers to have a delayed reaction, forming their sense of connection to the baby at a later time. This can create a sense of alienation and disruption in the relationship of the new parents at a very vulnerable and stressful time in their marriage.
"Dr. Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N., is Dean and Distinguished Foundation Professor in Nursing at the Arizona State University College of Nursing & Health Innovation. She is noted for her dedication to improving the health of children and teens, educational and research innovation, interdisciplinary healthcare, and evidence-based practice to deliver quality patient outcomes."