Mothers' experiences of having a preterm infant in the neonatal care unit: a meta-synthesis

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  • The Department of Paediatrics
  • Institute of Science in Nursing
Neonatal nurses today are challenged not only to provide the best possible developmental care for a preterm infant but also to help the mother through an uncertain motherhood toward a feeling of being a real mother for her preterm baby. An increasing interest in mothers' experiences of having a preterm baby is seen. A meta-synthesis of 14 qualitative research studies on mothers' experiences of having a preterm baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, published from 2000 onward, was conducted. Noblit and Hare's methodological approach was used. The meta-synthesis revealed five metaphors that captured the mothers' experiences. These metaphors centered on reciprocal relationships that consisted of mother-baby relationship ("from their baby to my baby"), maternal development (a striving to be a real normal mother), the turbulent neonatal environment (from foreground to background), maternal caregiving and role reclaiming strategies (from silent vigilance to advocacy), and mother-nurse relationship (from continuously answering questions through chatting to sharing of knowledge). Implications of the meta-synthesis for neonatal nursing are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
Pages (from-to)e26-36
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008

    Research areas

  • Adaptation, Psychological, Anthropology, Cultural, Attitude to Health, Communication, Health Facility Environment, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Intensive Care, Neonatal, Life Change Events, Maternal Behavior, Mother-Child Relations, Mothers, Neonatal Nursing, Nurse's Role, Nurse-Patient Relations, Nursing Methodology Research, Patient Education as Topic, Qualitative Research, Research Design, Role, Self Concept

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