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NICU Super Mamas coaching programme of peer-to-peer support


Who is this programme for


Parents who experienced a complicated pregnancy or the birth of a baby born prematurely, who have faced an unknown situation with their baby's hospitalisation.




The highly specialised care their baby required leaves families struggling as they cope with parenting from a distance, not feeling like parents and hesitating to become involved. This new experience leaves parents with a sense of powerlessness, feeling uninformed and intimidated because of their lack of familiarity with the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) environment.


Aims of the programme


Parents of NICU babies have the opportunity to be better prepared if they have the emotional support and aid of other parents who have been through a similar experience.

Parents with infants in NICUs are well known to be at increased risk for postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Psychosocial support is critical in mitigating the risk factors for developing these conditions.

Although professional mental health staff such as social workers, and to a lesser degree psychologists, may be available to deliver services to NICU parents, not every family may need or want formal support. However, parents may actually experience increased stress from their usual informal support networks because their friends and family may not fully comprehend the NICU experience, and friends and family may also be grieving along with the parents.


Peer-to-peer support (‘peer support') is a well-established modality for improving outcomes in people with a wide range of risk factors and diagnoses.


There is now a growing body of evidence of the benefits that peer support provides to parents of NICU infants and special needs children. Parents who receive peer support have been found to have

  • increased confidence and well-being

  • problem-solving capacity and adaptive coping

  • perception of social support,

  • self-esteem and acceptance of their situation.


At Home, Now What? –

Making The Emotional Transition Smoother From NICU To Your Home


Your baby was recently discharged from the NICU and you feel completely lost.

Although at home, you’re experiencing unexpected feelings of anxiety, fear and of being overwhelmed.

The transition from hospital to home is a critical and emotionally fraught time when NICU parents need the most support but often is when they receive the least.


Making The Emotional Transition Smoother From NICU To Your Home


We will have six sessions where we come together to discuss the key topics such as:

  • NICU Separation Anxiety

  • Medical Avalanche

  • Developmental Concerns, and

  • Relationship Disconnect


The sessions are confidential.

Each participant is committed to confidentiality.

In each session, some participants may choose to be an active listener and not share.

Each session will be different and agreements on how the session is organised will be done at the beginning of the session.


Structure of session:


Beginning- coaching agreement; establishing aims for the session

Middle- one person or more shares their experience; active listening; solution focused questioning, awareness raising reflection

End- feedback from group and coach; summary of insights or next steps

Newborn Baby
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