Parents with NICU Babies Can Suffer Postpartum PTSD

Richard Shaw, MD, a child psychiatrist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and an associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is studying postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder among moms and dads whose infants stayed in a NICU.

We've known that moms whose children spend time in the NICU, or whose children are born with birth defects, are at a greater risk of suffering from postpartum depression.Dr. Shaw's research focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, and he looks at the impact of premature births on both mothers and fathers.

At the Stanford website, Dr. Shaw discusses his research findings on postpartum PTSD and premature babies. Check it out here.

About Katherine Stone

is the founder of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the top 20 Social Media Moms by Working Mother magazine. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

Tell Us What You Think


  1. Lauren Hale says:

    Katherine –
    Thank you for posting this. This research really hit home for me as a NICU mom. The time-line for the dads is really on point because that's about when things really fell apart with my husband and I was forced to buck up to handle everything even though I wasn't ready to do so.
    I completely agree that NICU parents need to be carefully evaluated and have follow-up after the release of their child. I wish that had happened with me!
    Thanks again for sharing this one.

  2. Was it at the conference last year when someone asked how many NICU parents experience "PPD"? And the answer was "probably 100%". I'm not sure if that is a fact or an observation but I'm glad to see a light being shone on the NICU parents finally too.