I found this part interesting, because it reflects what we see generally among our pregnancy loss support group clients (dad stays strong for mom at first, & then goes through his own tough times further down the road):
The Stanford study found that although none of the fathers experienced acute stress symptoms while their child was in the NICU, they actually had higher rates of post-traumatic stress than the mothers when they were followed up later. “At four months, 33 percent of fathers and 9 percent of mothers had P.T.S.D.,” Dr. Shaw said.
It may be that cultural roles compel the men to keep a brave front during the trauma to support their partners, Dr. Shaw said, adding, “But three months later, when the mothers have recovered, that’s when the fathers are allowed to fall apart.”
And this sure sounds familiar too:
One of the biggest problems for these parents is coping after they finally leave the NICU.
“It may be several months later when they’re ready to process what they experienced, but at that point, family and friends don’t want to talk about it anymore,” Dr. Holditch-Davis said.
Ms. Schrader, in Philadelphia, felt a similar isolation in dealing with her surviving daughter’s health problems. “We got the sense that people just didn’t want to hear about it anymore,” she said.
Read the rest here. And check out the comments (or add your own) on the Well blog.