Time to Talk: PTSD the hidden cost of NICU

As this post from The Smallest Things describes, NICU parents’ needs are often not met after their baby’s stay. Your baby constantly tipping between life and death, the constant emotional torture, beeps of the machines can all leave an enduring toll. The ‘usual’ postnatal systems and processes don’t meet these parents’ needs – and this needs to change.

The Smallest Things


I saw a post last year; it simply said “PTSD – The hidden cost of having a premature baby?”

Nothing can prepare you for parenthood, but you allow yourself to imagine the arrival of your baby; those first precious holds, taking them home to meet loved ones, the time together to grow and bond – and then suddenly everything you imagined is dramatically replaced with the alien and uncertain world of neonatal intensive care.

seeing our son for the first time seeing our son for the first time

It is widely reported that parents who’ve spent time with their babies in neonatal care are a greater risk of developing anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some studies suggest that it affect as many as 70% mothers following NICU and given the nature of NICU this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Yet this is a topic that remains relatively unspoken about and more importantly there are limited, and in some areas…

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2 thoughts on “Time to Talk: PTSD the hidden cost of NICU

  1. Menai says:

    Thank you so much for this. I didn’t realise this was affecting me but it does explain a lot. My older daughter was in SCBU and I was expressing and feeding and she was moved without my knowledge resulting in a terrifying situation. My younger one was in NICU. I am an “over-protective” mum who probably hasn’t dealt with some of this. Thank you xxxxxx Hugo’s legacy is helping so many people – I am so proud of you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh Kendall says:

      Bless you. NICU/SCBU is a terrifying time – it’s not surprising it’s had an enduring effect on you. Thank you for your kind words Menai. Hope you are able to get some appropriate support if you feel you need it xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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