How are you speaking to new and expectant parents about your NICU?

A new report shines a spotlight on neonatal intensive care from the vantage point of anxious moms and dads.


The well-being of parents plays a crucial role in the care and survival of premature infants.

These babies face an uncertain future, as the first weeks and even months of their lives are spent in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The anxiety resulting from preterm births puts parents at risk for developing PTSD, postpartum depression and other mental health disorders. Addressing these vulnerabilities is the goal of a special report, Untangling the Mixed Messages of the NICU: Parents’ Perspectives .

The report from Inspire draws on data from a survey of 200 parents of premature infants. International patient advocate and report author Deb Discenza coupled those numbers with parent insights to highlight the realities that families experience during this critical time.

Challenges include:

  • Difficulties in producing and pumping breast milk
  • The need for emotional support and other resources
  • Concerns surrounding discharge from the hospital and transition to the home environment
  • Preparing for and coping with mortality

Focusing on the unique needs faced by the parents of preemies is one way hospitals can improve care in the NICU.

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