Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - 10

ROUNDS / INNOVATION
Listening lifts spirits
A multidisciplinary approach helps NICU mothers with postpartum depression.
BY CHRISTINA BANIALIS
P
ostpartum depression affects 1 in 7 mothers nationally
and 1 in 5 mothers in Illinois. Typically, mothers in Illinois
receive a depression screening at the first infant pediatrician
appointment, approximately one week postpartum. However,
neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants born before 30
weeks gestation may be hospitalized for months,
and mothers of critically ill newborns are at a higher
risk of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress
related to traumatic birth experiences and infant conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), mothers coping with these
symptoms have more difficulty caring for their child.
Support at the bedside helps keep mothers actively
participating in their infant's care and improves
parent engagement. Advocate Children's Hospital
Oak Lawn developed a support service for new mothers in
the NICU that significantly reduced symptoms of postpartum
depression-the Therapeutic Listening Program.
How the program works
The Therapeutic Listening Program is a nurse-led initiative
designed for the population and demographics of Advocate
Children's Hospital's Oak Lawn NICU. It began with a multidisciplinary
task force that developed a protocol and process
for postpartum depression screenings. The task force
included a NICU social worker, child life specialist,
music therapist, developmental nurse specialist, and
members of the pediatric rehabilitation team.
The program uses the Edinburgh Postpartum
mothers were
considered
non-symptomatic
after the listening
sessions.
Depression Scale (EPDS) to screen all mothers with
infants born before 30 weeks, or mothers referred by
the bedside team. If their score meets the threshold
determined by the protocol, they are offered supportive
therapeutic listening sessions. These one-on-one
sessions with a therapeutic listening nurse focus on the
medical care of the infant and the parental stress associated
with caring for an infant in the NICU setting. Topics covered
EPDS scores before and after therapeutic listening sessions
20
Before
After
Target
12
Mothers receiving therapeutic listening sessions
10
CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS TODAY Summer 2022
EPDS scores

Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022

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Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - 2
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Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - Cover3
Children's Hospitals Today - Summer 2022 - Cover4
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