Dr. Melnyk discusses if it is common for parents to feel selfish leaving the hospital while their premature baby remains admitted.
I always tell parents if you are not taking care of yourself first you are not going to be able to take good care of your preemie. So again, if you are overly fatigued, if you are highly stressed, if you are depressed, those emotions, no matter how you try to hide them, are going to be carrying over to your baby.
It’s also interesting, in our research we found that fathers almost have a delayed response to the birth of a preemie, unlike moms, they start responding immediately. A lot of times there is a lag time to the emotions that fathers experience and that creates desynchrony between the mom and the dad, and a lot of times that’s a source of conflict between those two parents because they are going through the emotional roller coaster at different times.
About Dr. Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N.:
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.
Dr. Melnyk earned a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree from the West Virginia University School of Nursing, a Master’s of Science in nursing with a specialization in nursing care of children as a pediatric nurse practitioner from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in clinical nursing research from the University of Rochester (New York). She also has completed her post-master’s certificate as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.