A reflection on a dad’s experience in the NICU, and the moment he realized that he was truly a father. [Read more]
by Dawn K. Gibson, LCSW
When you initially became pregnant, birthing your baby and having him or her whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by hospital staff was most likely not in your plan.
Many parents know that bonding after childbirth is important for both parents and baby, and you may have had some ideas about what this meant to you. You might have visualized yourself holding your baby right after the birth, looking into his or her eyes lovingly, or just lying skin-to-skin for a time. No matter what your vision, the reality of birthing a medically fragile infant is typically very different from these images. You may not have been able to hold, let alone touch, your baby right away and you may now be worried that you have lost a major opportunity to bond with your baby. Please know that this is not true. There are many other ways to bond with your baby – even during his or her NICU stay. [Read more]
Infant massage cam help parents bond with baby in and out of the NICU. NICU Occupational Therapist Tracey Kondrasuk-Brander gives her tips for successful infant massage. [Read more]
The following post is the second part of a three-part series on PPD and PTSD in NICU parents. Visit part 1 of the series: Postpartum Depression and PTSD in Fathers, and stay tuned for Part 3 in August! We have heard more and more in the news about how common postpartum depression is – affecting about […]
The night I met my son will forever live in my mind as one of the scariest, loneliest, yet happiest nights of my life.
My wife gave birth to our first child more than 100 days before he was supposed to be born. I wasn’t even mentally prepared to be a dad, even though we planned the pregnancy and had a due date. I just figured I had more time to get ready, but I was wrong. At six o’clock in the evening, I was eating dinner and getting ready to play softball when my wife came home in tears. By 7:33 that night, our son was born. So much happened in those 90 minutes, it is still hard to believe. I experienced fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, sorrow and the thought that I might lose my son and my wife on a hot summer night in which I was supposed to be playing a game instead of contemplating starting my life over. [Read more]