126: How to Prepare for Pregnancy after Preemie

September is NICU Awareness Month. If you aren’t familiar with what NICU stands for, it’s where sick or pre-term babies go for specialized care until they are well enough to (hopefully) go home. One of the most common questions I get from parents is about facing another pregnancy after going through a NICU experience. Just the thought of a repeat situation is terrifying for a parent. Today’s show dives into four important steps to take before trying to conceive again after a NICU experience.

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Episode highlights...

  • Talk to your partner

  • Sometimes partners don’t feel included in the NICU experience

  • Get your partner’s perspective and understand their feelings

  • Make sure your partner isn’t stuck in the trauma response

  • Realize that social support is essential for healthy pregnancy outcomes

  • Work with a trauma-trained therapist if you need to

  • Make a preconception appointment with a high-risk specialist

  • Get a second opinion on what happened before and how to prevent it

  • Get your questions answered before you try again

  • Realize that this isn’t a one-time appointment, but may need to be repeated

  • Think of this as selecting your team

  • Deactivate your arousal system (turn off your stress response)

  • Understand that none of this is your fault

  • Know that a heightened stress response increases the chance of many pregnancy complications

  • Look out for unresolved grief and trauma

  • Know that mantras, affirmations, and positive thinking will NOT help as well as you'd think

  • Figure out when the time is right for you

  • Don’t allow a medical professional to push you when you aren’t ready

  • What can you make better right now?

  • Realize that there is no right or wrong answer

Trust your body; it won’t lie to you.

Resources from the show...

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