Breathe, Baby, Breathe!: Neonatal Intensive Care, Prematurity, and Complicated Pregnancies

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 4, 2020 - Biography & Autobiography - 280 pages

Every year in the United States, 12% of all births are preterm births, 5% of all babies need help to breathe at birth, and 3% of neonates are born with at least one severe malformation. Many of these babies are hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit. Annie Janvier and her husband, Keith Barrington, are both pediatricians who specialize in the care of these sick babies and are internationally known for their research in this area. In 2005, when their daughter Violette was born extremely prematurely, 4 months before her due date, they faced the situation "from the other side," as parents. Despite knowing the scientific facts, they knew nothing about the experience itself. "Knowing how a respirator works did not help me be the mother of a baby on a respirator," writes Annie. She did not know how to navigate the guilt, the uncertainty, the fears, the predictions of providers, and the responses of friends and family. In a society obsessed with goals, performance, efficiency, and high percentages, she discovered that the daily lack of control that new parents of sick babies face changes their lives. And that, for physician parents, it also changes the way they practice medicine.

Most of the articles and books written about premature babies and neonatal intensive care units examine the technological and medical aspects of neonatology. Breathe, Baby, Breathe, however, is written in the voice of a parent-doctor and tells the story of Violette and her parents, alongside the stories of other fragile babies and their families with different journeys and different outcomes. With the story of Violette at the core of the book, the interwoven stories and empirical articles provide essential insights into the medical world of premature birth. This original clever blend of narratives and evidence provides a new, experiential view of the way forward during a parental crisis. The book ends with practical recommendations for clinicians, parents, and families.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Labour and Prenatal Counselling
7
The Delivery and the First Days
87
The NICU
125
Progress and Setbacks
189
Coming Home
231
Neonatology Information for Parents Families Clinicians and All Those Who Care about Babies
299
Notes
321
Glossary of Common Abbreviations Used in the NICU
343
Selected Bibliography
347
Resources and Further Reading
349
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Annie Janvier is a professor of Paediatrics and Clinical Ethics at the University of Montreal, and a Neonatologist, clinical ethicist and researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine.

Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for their translation of Descent into Night by Edem Awumey.

Howard Scott and Phyllis Aronoff won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for their translation of Descent into Night by Edem Awumey.

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