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The NICU can be an incredibly stressful environment for both the infant and its parents. Unlike many traumatic events, the NICU experience can often feel like an ongoing trauma, with the stay often involving highs and lows, new diagnoses, changes in prognosis, multiple procedures, and a rollercoaster of emotions. Additionally, the NICU can also trigger trauma responses for parents who have had previous traumatic experiences. When working with families in the NICU, it is important to use a Trauma Informed Care lens to ensure that the whole family is understood and adequately supported (Sanders & Hall, 2007). Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) can be a result of prolonged stress related to the trauma of the NICU experience. While much of the attention is often given to the infant and birthing parent, it is important to also consider the impact on the father or non-birthing parent. Both parents are susceptible to developing PMADs and this presentation will focus on the experience of the father or partner.
Gladdis, Tiffany, "Supporting Fathers and Partners in the NICU" (2023). Posters. 363.