Brave and Strong: A Preemie's Journey (Family and World Health) (Paperback)
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This easy-to-read picture book imagines a premature baby's journey into the world, told from the baby's perspective. The title, Brave and Strong, characterizes the mood of the book, which is meant to encourage moms and other family members about the inherent urgency for survival that these newborns possess. While not avoiding the serious issues cased by stress and risk that exist on all parts (mothers, families, child's), Brave and Strong presents a positive outcome with a successful birth and love as triumphant. Premature births, defined as anything less than 39 weeks of gestation, have been growing in recent years, particularly among certain populations in the U.S. Worldwide, the statistics remain at about 11 percent of all births, which is a sizeable proportion, meaning that over 15 million infants are at risk in this way. The good news, however, is that for those who have access to pregnancy counseling, nutrition services and hospital care, particularly the presence of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (N-I-C-U), the rates can be decreased. chances of survival increased and long-term negative effects greatly diminished. The authors, as well as the team at Hohm Press, are proud to present this small contribution toward increasing the positive mental and emotional energy that can support mother and child at this critical time. The need for this book was expressed by WIC agencies in the U.S., as the populations they serve are often more likely to experience premature births. Both author and illustrator interviewed the parents of preemies and created this book with a view to encouraging other parents in similar situations. They also consulted with doulas, midwives and NICU nurses in their attempt to present an authentic story, while still understanding that this one tale is not the same for all. Like the infant she describes in this book, author Michelle Hackney has herself "beats the odds" in life. As a Latina coming from a single-parent, low-income household in a gang-infested town, she is actively trying to make the world a better place by advocating for children and for women's rights. Her first book, Mama's Leche, also illustrated by her cousin, Mia Ortiz, has already become a success and is helping to change the way the world is looking at breastfeeding. Ortiz's illustrations are warm and true, without being overly clinical. .A colorful and compelling piece that will serve as an educational tool for years to come.