Expecting a Premature Birth

If you are anticipating having a preterm infant, are receiving care as part of a high-risk pregnancy program, or want to know more about what having a baby in the NICU might be like, here are some resources for you.

  • Many parents are, very reasonably, worried about what giving birth to a preterm baby will be like. A UK-based website, Tommys.org, has some great information about what parents can expect.

  • One of the first gifts you can give to your baby is colostrum. Many units are now encouraging mothers to hand-express colostrum as soon as possible after birth, in order to give babies that immune-boosting ‘liquid gold” as soon as possible. If you are part of a high-risk program, ask them about early hand expression, and learn more about the technique from a leading researcher in this field. This article explains some of the details of Dr. Jane Morton’s research, and you can see videos of the technique in action on this website.

  • Many NICUs will offer introductory materials to parents, and some will facilitate a tour for high risk parents-to-be. They may also have photos or virtual tours on their websites. If possible, take the time to familiarize yourself with the environment before giving birth.

  • There are many stressful aspects to anticipating a preterm birth. The website KeepEmCooking.com has great tips for dealing with activity limits.

  • If you want to learn more about the people you’ll meet in the NICU, and about some of the new words you’ll hear, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre offers a Who’s Who in the NICU and a Glossary on their website.