I read this yesterday and now just wanted to come and post my experience. I know most people chimed in and said that 30 wks was definately too early and I wanted to agree. I had fraternal twins just three days shy of being '30 weekers' and they would have most certainly died without intervention. I'll explain.
The author of the article sounds totally well-meaning but what she is proposing is much more fairy tale than reality, for a 30 weeker preemie anyway. When my babies were taken off the ventilators after it was clear that their grossly underdeveloped lungs were not collapsing(about 2-3 days after the birth) I was able to hold them for a short while. I was very eager to do kangaroo care... and really depressing for me at the time, but they did not do well with being touched and required higher oxygen during kangaroo.
My twins were very different -- one was average in weight and length for a 29 weeker, the other was more the size of an average 27 weeker... and while size is no factor, having an early gestation *and* a small baby can mean more complications and usually a longer hospital stay.
Feeding -- a few days later, they started off with 1 cc of my milk and for my smallest baby, it just sat and festered in his belly... it wasn't going anywhere.
The only two things a mom with a baby in the NICU can actually do -- kangaroo and provide milk... it is just dismaying to see that as a mom you just don't have what is necessary to keep a baby of that gestation alive.
And yes all the sticks and tubes and wires just sucked... but no one was rough or heartless.. I don't think the b*tchiest NICU nurse out there is going to be rough with such a small baby... even light touches can leave bruises. Don't get me wrong, I hated that it happened.. I hated that they were there... I have a lot of doubts about the necessity of that "emergency" c-section that I was pushed into, I was angry with the docs who had provided substandard prenatal "care"... but it is what happened and what we(the kids and I) had to endure.
For such tiny ones, a level III NICU is the best shot they have at life. Just like if any one of us were to birth a full term baby with an imperforate rectum for instance -- we would have to take our baby in to have emergency surgery or if any one of us ruptures our spleen in a car wreck -- no matter how much we dislike hospitals or how germ ridden they are(and they are) -- we'd be in there getting emergency surgery, life support if necessary etc. Just doing what we have to do to survive.
I will say things got much much better when they hit about 32 weeks gestational age... my bigger baby came home around 35 weeks GA on no monitors and weighing just over 4lbs and my other child came home a couple weeks later at 37 weeks gestation(due to his size and coming down with hypothermia when his brother went home and left his side) and weighing 3lbs 12 oz and on no monitors. We had follow up care for eyes, heart etc and we needed one surgery to correct double hernias and that was it.
They are late talkers and one was a late walker... but they have no serious issues. So, that is my experience... 32 weeks is a world different than 30 and 34 a world different than 32.