For premature babies, a positive and stable home life is key.

According to new research, medical challenges that newborns are exposed to may be more related to their environment rather than their biology (“Stable home lives,” 2019).

Infants are more likely to overcome developing psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders if they have more nurturing mothers and home lives (“Stable home lives,” 2019).

“‘Home environment is what really differentiated these kids…preterm children who did the best had mothers who reported lower levels of depression and parenting stress,’” stated Rachel E. Lean, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in child psychiatry (“Stable home lives,” 2019).

These children also tend to have more cognitive stimulation overall at home, like having more time to read and play, which promotes learning and development (“Stable home lives,” 2019).

To test the impact of positive home lives, researchers evaluated over 100 5-year old children… “85 had been born 10 weeks before their due dates, while the other 40 were born full term.”

It was found that children with psychiatric problems came from homes with “mothers who experienced more ADHD symptoms, higher levels of psychosocial stress, high parenting stress, and more family dysfunction in general.” – These children also rated higher on behavioral and social dysfunctions from surveys provided by teachers and parents. Premature children who came from more positive home environments were shown to have less cognitive and behavioral problems (“Stable home lives,” 2019).

Premature children brought home from intensive care have clinical dispositions that can hinder their development, but the data shows that the real impact occurs when they are brought home. Nature and nurture are key for proper development (“Stable home lives,” 2019).

Reference: Washington University School of Medicine. (2019, August 26). Stable home lives improve prospects for preemies: Medical challenges at birth less important than stressful home life in predicting future psychiatric health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190826104830.htm

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