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Counseling for Moms of NICU and Preemie Babies

Counseling for Moms of NICU and Preemie Babies

You Don’t Have To Do This Alone.

This isn’t what you expected. Instead of bringing your infant home after a brief stay you are running back and forth to the hospital. It’s scary seeing your child hooked up to so many tubes and wires. Feeling helpless wasn’t what you were hoping for. You weren’t expecting time in the NICU, or maybe you knew it would happen. Either way, you weren’t prepared for the reality of having a preemie. The good news is: you don’t have to navigate this alone.

Common Statements from NICU parents

  • This is harder than we’re letting on.
  • The NICU is a scary place.
  • We don’t know when we’re coming home.
  • We may not ask for help, but we could use it.
  • We may not want to talk about it.
  • Leaving our baby is heartbreaking.
  • Our emotions are running wild.
  • It might not hit us right away.
  • Things might never be the same.
  • It changes our perspective on parenting.

One of the hardest part of this experience is leaving the hospital without your baby.  Your heart sank when you arrived home and walked into an empty nursery.  Stress and anxiety are common feelings for NICU parents — but so are other emotions that may not be as easy to explain or understand. Some new moms struggle to bond with their preemies. Especially if they have a traumatic birth or are unable to hold or nurse their premature baby right away. This can lead to feelings of depression, guilt and withdrawal. This may even impact their ability to care for their child once they leave the hospital.

Many parents also feel helpless.  It might take a few months after bringing your baby home to feel like you have a little bit of breathing room.  Once things have started to settle down, your emotions may begin to get out of control again.

NICU baby help at Postpartum Wellness in Virginia


Common Reasons NICU moms come to counseling

The birth of your baby shouldn’t be traumatic, but sometimes it is. If your birth experience ended with time in the NICU, you may need some extra support. Our trained therapists help you work through the complex emotions which come with having a premature baby. While everyone’s experience is different, here are some common reasons NICU mom’s come to therapy.

  • Fear that something will happen to your premature baby after coming home
  • Postpartum depression

  • Stress from keeping up with further doctors appointments

  • Difficulty adjusting to bringing your preemie home

It hurts to see an empty crib when you get home from the hospital. Navigating life with a premature baby or one who spends time in the NICU can be difficult. You are there for your baby every day, but moms deserve support too. We are here to help you!

We are here for you!

Postpartum Wellness provides expert individual therapy for depression or anxiety for women in Northern Virginia. We believe in the healing power of connection.

Our counselors use the latest research while offering relational, compassionate and solution-focused treatment.  We use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Interpersonal Therapy to provide you with a holistic approach to healing.

Help for NICU mom at Postpartum Wellness in Virginia and Maryland

How Therapy Works for Parents of NICU or Premature Infants

Each session is completely confidential.  We often work together in collaboration with your primary care physician to ensure your success, as well as to provide medication options for addressing issues with chemical imbalances if relevant. It can be hard to leave the hospital or once home, to leave the house. Therefore, we also offer online counseling.  We often work together in collaboration with your primary care physician if medication is part of your treatment. Medication and counseling can work well together, so it’s helpful when your therapist and physician communicate about your symptoms, treatment and progress.

Your first counseling session is called the “intake interview.” During this first session with your therapist, we’ll get to know you, go through your life story and talk about your current situation.  This allows us to accurately pinpoint the problem.  Then, we can work together to create a plan moving forward.  From there, we meet for regular individual therapy sessions – which is where the real work begins.

Benefits of Counseling

As you begin counseling for depression or anxiety due to a baby in the NICU, you can learn to:

  • Break free from the depression/anxiety spiral

  • Relax and sleep well

  • Build connection and love for your child

  • Use coping strategies that actually work

  • Feel confident and have self-control

  • Think positively and understand your emotions

  • Find wellness and joy

Counseling for NICU parents at Postpartum Wellness in Virginia and Maryland

We call our practice Postpartum Wellness for a reason.

We started this practice because we are passionate about providing a safe and caring space for women to process their pregnancy and postpartum experiences.  The silent struggle that many women experience impacts their relationships with self, partner, friends, family, colleagues, and the rest of society.  The shame and stigma around pregnancy and postpartum stress needs to be recognized – and we want to be part of that change.

Counseling for Moms of Premature Infants in Virginia,
Maryland, and DC

You’re uncertain of when you’ll be able to bring your baby home, and you dream of just being able to hold her without all the wires. Or maybe you’ve brought your baby home, but you find yourself constantly worrying about their wellbeing. Having an infant in the NICU can be stressful, even after you are both home. However, you don’t have to navigate this alone. Our skilled therapists can help you during this difficult time, as well as helping you adjust when you come home. Contact us today to learn more about how counseling can help.

Other Services at Postpartum Wellness in Florida, Maryland, Virginia, & DC

The skilled therapists at Postpartum Wellness understand that there are many areas new or expecting moms might be dealing with. We help with all aspects of your parenting journey. Therefore, we offer a variety of supportive services for mom. Some of our specialties are prenatal massage, birth and postpartum doulas, postpartum anxiety treatment, counseling for military moms, infertility support and postpartum depression therapy.

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