Research has shown that parents who have had a baby on a neonatal unit have a much higher likelihood of PTSD, post-natal depression and anxiety disorders, long after they have left the unit.
At QA, we acknowledge the emotional impact that having a baby on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can have on the whole family and how this may not always be addressed.
This is why the team are raising awareness of the support on offer for families to mark Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week.
Susanna is a counsellor on NICU at QA Hospital and has been supporting families for over 20 years.
Susanna explains: “My role is to provide support to the families in what can be such a traumatising time. Some babies on the unit are fighting for their lives and can be an emotional roller coast for the parents. I am here to listen and help them.
“To be able to help mums, dads and the babies is so wonderful. To see, despite all of the obstacles, the family form a great bond is so heart-warming and I know my skills as a psychotherapist is making a different to those families. It is also so lovely to see the families when they come back to visit years later and see the babies grown up.”
Susanna comes to the unit once a week and is available to provide support to all families.