The Heart Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (CICU)
The Perinatal Behavioral Health Services (PBHS) Heart Center (CICU) therapist supports the mental and emotional health of parents of infants with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). This includes parents being treated prenatally in the Fetal Care Center and/or Maternal Fetal Medicine, parents of infants who are or have been hospitalized in the CICU at SLCH, and caregivers – including grandparents – of children ages 0-5 with a CHD diagnosis. In addition, the Heart Center therapist is available to support pregnant parents experiencing heart-related issues themselves during the pregnancy and postpartum period. At this point in time, the Heart Center is staffed by one full-time and one part-time therapist. While the goal is to meet and screen all parents who gave birth with infants under age 1 admitted to the Heart Center, regardless of a referral from a member of the medical team or social worker, due to high census numbers and limited staff time, the Heart Center therapist will use judgment on how to prioritize referrals. Typically, this means prioritizing direct referrals above on census referrals.