“Human milk is for human babies, cow’s milk is for cows.” – Melinda J. Elliott, MD FAAP
PREEMIEWORLD: How long have you been working in your field?
MELINDA: 30+ years
PREEMIEWORLD: Why did you choose your current profession?
MELINDA: I have always wanted to be a pediatrician. During my last year of medical school, I fell in love with the babies in the NICU.
PREEMIEWORLD: What do you want other professionals to know about what you do?
MELINDA: The influence of a neonatologist in caring for babies and their families in the NICU can last a lifetime. The right nutrition affects the long-term health of a baby. Giving a baby the chance to achieve his/her full potential impacts not only that baby and the family, it can influence society. Healthy babies mean healthy families, productive citizens, and a bright future for us all.
PREEMIEWORLD: What advice do you give to preemie parents?
MELINDA: Trust your inner feelings and instincts. Ask questions. If you don’t understand the answer, ask again. Advocate for your baby and yourself.
PREEMIEWORLD: Fun Facts: Tell us a fun or quirky fact about you.
MELINDA: I love flamingos! I have them all over my house, yet have personally bought very few of them. They are all gifts from friends who know I love them. There are more than 36 in my office alone!
PREEMIEWORLD: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
MELINDA: I learned very early in my training the importance of parent support while babies are in the NICU, having had great role models during my residency and fellowship. Supporting families during this time should be part of every neonatologist’s training, as it is a huge part of neonatal care.