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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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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