WakeMed Blogs

Was Your Child Born Early? A Special Event for Parents & Caregivers

June 24, 2013

When a baby is born earlier than expected, it can be a scary experience. Even if a baby is born just three weeks early, there are many questions.

Will my baby be OK? Will breathing be an issue? Will he have to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

Premature babies have special needs, and they are not able to handle stimuli like a full-term baby. WakeMed’s Level IV NICU is one of only four in the world that is NIDCAP certified for providing developmentally supportive care. This care is designed to most closely mimic the environment in the womb, controlling light, sound and other stimuli.

However, even after a baby is discharged from the NICU, he will still be monitored closely by physicians because an early birth can cause developmental delays that may not surface for months or even years. This is also true for premature babies who did not have to spend time in the NICU.

Research has shown that children who were born prematurely are more likely to have developmental issues that can impact their lives.

These may include:
• Less flexibility
• Shorter attention span
• Difficulty handling stimuli
• Trouble managing change
• Rapid mood changes
• Frequent fussiness

Recognizing the issues and understanding the cause can help families find solutions to ensure emotional, social and academic success. Awareness and early intervention is key to nurturing a well-adjusted child.

Was your child born early?
Parents and caregivers of babies born 3 weeks to 3 months early are invited to attend

Tuesday, June 25
6:30 to 8 pm
WakeMed Raleigh Campus (
campus map)
Andrews Conference Center
3024 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh

WakeMed is pleased to welcome Heidelise Als, PhD, the foremost expert in infant behavior and early childhood development to share what her research has revealed. A developmental, educational and licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience, her work has changed the way neonatology is practiced and the way nurseries are designed.

Attendees will learn:
• The challenges premature babies may face
• How you and your healthcare provider can work together to support your premature baby through early childhood

Register here.

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