Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human

Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human Book Summary

Inspired by Sarah DiGregorio’s harrowing experience giving birth to her premature daughter, Early is a compelling and empathetic blend of memoir and rigorous reporting that tells the story of neonatology – and explores the questions raised by premature birth.

Early is a definitive history of neonatology, written with urgency and clarity, beauty and compassion. DiGregorio is at once a clear-eyed reporter and a mother who has lived through the reality of neonatal intensive care, and her balance of the two narrative strands is pitch-perfect. A popular science book that deserves its place among the best’ Francesca Segal, author of Mother Ship

The heart of many hospitals is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It is a place where humanity, ethics, and science collide in dramatic and deeply personal ways as parents, doctors, and nurses grapple with sometimes unanswerable questions: When does life begin? When and how should life end? And what does it mean to be human?

The NICU is a place made of stories – the stories of mothers and babies who spend days, weeks and even months waiting to go home, and the dedicated clinicians who care for these tiny, developing humans. Early explores these stories, as well as the evolution of neonatology and its breakthroughs – how modern medicine can be successful at saving infants at five and a half months gestation who weigh less than a pound, when only a few decades ago there were essentially no treatments for premature babies.

For the first time, Sarah DiGregorio tells the complete story of this science – and the many people it has touched. Weaving her own experiences, those of other parents, and NICU clinicians with deeply researched reporting, Early delves deep into the history and future of neonatology, one of the most boundary pushing medical disciplines: how it came to be, how it is evolving, and the political, cultural, and ethical issues that continue to arise in the face of dramatic scientific developments.

Eye-opening and vital, Early uses premature birth as a lens to view our own humanity, and the humanity of those around us.

Title:Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human



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    Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human Reviews

  • Cheryl Crotty

    So interesting. My grandson was born at 28 weeks so when I saw this book it really piqued my curiosity. I saw him and my daughter on so many pages. It was heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same t...

  • LibraryLaur

    I have a personal interest in this topic (my second child was born at 30 weeks), and I found this book fascinating. Well-written and engaging, it covered a lot of ground, from the history of neonatolo...

  • Lauren

    An informative and thought-provoking treatise that takes a deep-dive into the historical, sociocultural, and political influences on our current understanding of preterm birth. DiGregorio does not shy...

  • Katelyn

    4.5 stars. Wow. I could read DiGregorio write about cereal boxes. I started this book intending just to read her personal story of delivering a preemie, but I quickly found myself devouring this entir...

  • Emi

    As a NICU nurse, I started reading this book cautiously, prepared to critique and criticize anything that might be misrepresented. But I was so pleased to discover that it surpassed my expectations by...

  • Deirdre Lohrmann

    I would recommend this book to everyone. There are a lot of important facts and opinions which needed to be spoken about premature births and how hospitals and nursing practices have changed when hand...

  • Hailey Simpson

    Caring for them [premature babies] is like touching some essence, something you arent supposed to see: the terrible beauty of a human being built, gorgeous and unknowable.Although I enjoyed it, Id be ...

  • Olivia

    A huge surprise 5 star book! I just picked this up when I saw it on the library app and it blew me away. Very thorough and thoughtful with a holistic take on preterm births, what their incidence says ...

  • Go Livia

    After attending Sarahs book introduction talk, I was so in awe of her work. My partner decided to get me her book at the end of the night. Her curiosity let her to a very educational journey and I am ...

  • Bill

    With my wife being a 6 week premature, low-birth weight twin who survived with limited medical advances 70 years ago, this was a very interesting read to me. It was a great exploration of how far medi...