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Kids Health QA: Bonding with Preemies

Q. My baby was born six weeks premature and is still being treated in the hospital. I'm so worried about bonding with her. Help!

Please don't worry! Bonding is a process, not a moment. It's about falling in love with your baby and weaving a connection that nurtures you both. You don't miss your chance when your baby stays in the hospital; you just get to know each other in a different way and at a different pace.

Talk to the doctors and nurses about different ways you can connect with your baby. Visit as often as you can. Talk to her, touch her, and help the nurse care for her. If it's possible to hold her, do so (skin-to-skin contact is a wonderful way to bond, whether you're able to breastfeed or not). With patience and perseverance, you and your baby will bond just fine -- and it will be as if you were never separated.