Your Premature Baby and Child

Parents need to understand that the trials of having a premature infant do not end once they bring their preemie home from the hospital, as discussed in this interview with Dianne Maroney, RN, coauthor of Your Premature Baby and Child

Interveiw by Allison Martin

What enticed you to write Your Premature Baby and Child?

Before the premature birth of my daughter, Mackenzie, I had been a NICU nurse for over twelve years. I discharged many preemies after teaching their parents how to give their infant a bath, take their temperatures, etc., but I had no real knowledge of what caring for a preemie at home truly meant. After Mackenzie was born and came home from the hospital with so many problems related to her prematurity, I quickly learned how difficult life as a preemie parent can be. I clearly understood how critical it is for parents to have resources to help them understand preemie issues and advocate for their child’s health. When Amy and I met in 1994, we began researching and working towards filling the gap in the resources for preemie parents after the NICU, and Your Premature Baby and Child was created.

How has your personal experience as a mother influenced you and your writing?

Being a mother of a premature infant is an extremely challenging and yet very rewarding part of my life. Although Mackenzie is now 6 and has only a few issues that are related to her prematurity, she experienced many of the problems discussed in the book in her short little life. She struggled for many years and yet her strength, courage, and will to live has molded her into a beautiful little girl with a sparkle in her eye and a smile that affects everyone she meets. Mackenzie’s spirit and the love and compassion of her brother’s Frankie (12) and Michael (10) inspire me and the work I do every day.

What is the most important thing that parents of children born prematurely should know?

Parents need to understand that the trials of having a premature infant do not end once they bring their preemie home from the hospital. Yes, the critical weeks or months may be over, but their baby’s early birth may affect their lives for many months or even years. As frightening as it may be at times, it’s important to educate yourself on the possible affects and find the resources (medical professionals, books, internet sites, etc.) to help them if any problems do occur. Hopefully, each parent will find a balance between keeping a watchful eye and just plain enjoying their baby(s).

Dianne Maroney has been a neonatal intensive care nurse for over 17 years. As a national speaker, author, owner of, and member of many local and national organizations, she works with parents and medical professionals advocating to further incorporate a parent perspective and family needs into the care of the preterm infant and child. Dianne Maroney has three children; her daughter was born 14 weeks early. She is the coauthor of Your Premature Baby and Child : Helpful Answers and Advice for Parents.