Mothers to preterm infants are often unprepared, feel alone and find the neo-natal environment a difficult place to become accustomed to their new role.
Exploring these difficulties, Dr Hanne Aagaard spoke with Hamish Holewa about her study on how mothers, with preterm infants in neo-natal units, can best be supported and guided to confidently take control of their baby's care.
Psycho-social factors related to the neo-natal unit including, the lack of privacy , unfamiliarity with surroundings, feelings of incompetence in caring for the infant, and guilt and distress in relation to the infants health impinged on the mothers' ability to care for their child.
Health professionals in neo-natal units need to minimise separation between mother and child, provide support and guidance in caring for the infant, and provide information in a non-authoritarian, supportive manner.
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International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research, CQUniversity, Australia
Podcast - The Mother's Experience: Preterm Infants In The Neonatal Care Unit