NICU Parents & Mental/Emotional Health Challenges
Being a NICU parent is hard! Especially when your baby was admitted in the NICU and everything that happened afterwards. You were flooded with feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, anxiety, fear, confusion, and loss.
You may have thought or felt: you did something to cause this to happen to your baby, you don’t know what to do to help your baby, you felt afraid that your baby was not going to make it, you were confused about what was going on, all of the cords attached to your baby and hearing the monitoring sounds was a lot for you, you felt frustrated that you were not able to touch your baby, you struggled with what happened because this was not what you envision your birthing and bonding experience would be like. You may have been able to bring your baby home or had to say goodbye to your baby.
These feelings, thoughts, and experiences are valid. Your baby being in the NICU can be considered as a traumatic experience. This does not mean that something is wrong with you or that you are weak. It means that you experienced a difficult situation, and you are struggling on coping with what happened to you, your baby, and your family.
It is common for NICU parents to struggle with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). It is estimated that 20-30% of NICU parents will struggle PMADs, 50-70% of parents will go undiagnosed, and those who received an appropriate diagnosis, only 50% were able to get treatment (Johnson & Paulsen, 2022). Not getting treatment can have an impact on the health and wellbeing of the mom, baby, and the family.
So, the big question is what can you do to get help?
I suggest that you contact me! With both my personal experience as a NICU parent and my professional experience, I believe that I can help you heal and overcome PMADs. You can schedule a FREE 15 minute phone consultation by contacting me through my website at www.karimcounseling.org or email me at [email protected].
Johnson Rolfes, J., Paulsen, M. (2022). Protecting the infant-parent relationship: special emphasis on perinatal mood and anxiety disorder screening and treatment in neonatal intensive care unit parents. J Perinatal 42, 815–818. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41372-021-01256-7