Parents have a confusing variety of emotional reactions to the stress of a high-risk birth. Terror, grief, impotence, and anger are common feelings for these parents. Some of these reactions bring families closer together; at other times these emotions pull spouses apart. It is essential to recognize that even though these emotions are very troubling, they are normal experiences during a life-and-death crisis. Instead of attempting to escape these feelings, the parents' recovery from the stress of a high-risk birth is dependent upon how well they accept their feelings and the changes in their lives.
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Michael T. Hynan, Ph.D.
Michael T. Hynan, Ph.D. is an associate professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201. He is the author of The Pain of Premature Parents: A Psychological Guide for Coping, 1987, University Press of America.
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.