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The Emotional Experience of NICU Parents and Tailored Interventions

Preterm birth is an unresolved health issue across both developing and industrialized societies and is the world’s leading cause of neonatal mortality. Parents of preterm infants hospitalized in the NICU often experience stressful reactions to their labor, delivery, and their subsequent NICU stay and are thus at greater risk of developing depression, anxiety, and acute stress/PTSD when compared to parents of full-term infants. These psychological effects have been associated with a reduced ability to cope with stressors in the NICU, increased feelings of detachment and separation from infants, and negative influences on parenting. Stephanie Simon, PsyD, will provide an overview of the emotional experience of parents with preterm infants hospitalized in the NICU as well as tailored interventions that have been shown to alleviate mental health symptoms and foster a more secure parent-infant attachment.

About Dr. Stephanie Simon:
Dr. Simon is a postdoctoral fellow in clinical psychology at The Motherhood Center. She graduated with a bachelor’s in Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, obtained a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, and completed her doctorate at PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. Dr. Simon brings her prior training experience with mothers of NICU infants, pregnant women with insomnia, and couples across the lifespan to her work at TMC. She works primarily with women and couples in the outpatient program and facilitates groups in our day program at TMC. Dr. Simon is passionate about helping women and their families with the emotional and physical challenges of transitioning into pregnancy and parenthood.

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