Prematurity has become a major global cause of death in neonates. The number of preterm babies has increased significantly in the past ten to fifteen years, creating a public health crisis in the financial and social fraternities. While prematurity has become a public health crisis, delivering and caring for a preterm baby also affects the emotional and social well-being of the mothers who delivered preterm babies. Most preterm infants are born ill, or have difficulties in adapting to extra-uterine life because of immature body systems and organs. As a result, preterm birth and caring for a preterm baby becomes a stressful and worrisome situation for parents.
However, some preterm babies do survive, and they can quite soon be discharged home with their mothers. But, although mothers may experience excitement and happiness at discharge, many are anxious and insecure about how to take care of their tiny babies at home. This creates another burden for the mothers, because they will be carrying on with the baby care at home without assistance. Therefore, nurses should be prepared to assist the mothers in this transitional period, by providing instructions and interventions that will give the mothers the necessary knowledge and skills to confidently and effectively care for their babies at home.
This research was conducted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICUs) of the Pediatric and Maternity Wards of Intermediate Hospital Oshakati. The study was
undertaken as a qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual study, aimed at understanding lived experiences of mothers regarding giving birth to a preterm baby and caring for him or her. In-depth interviews were conducted on eight mothers, who had been caring for their preterm babies for at least two weeks in the mentioned units. The researcher observed ethical implication pertaining to research conducting. Permission to conduct the study was sought from the concerned institutions. Ethical principles of informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality were adhered to.
The study revealed that mothers who delivered preterm babies experienced emotional challenges, manifested in shock, fear, despair and sadness. It also showed that the mothers relied mainly on their religion in an attempt to cope with preterm birth. In addition, mothers experienced difficulties in bonding with their babies as well as apprehension in the care of their babies because they had inadequate information about preterm birth and preterm baby care. This caused them to have no foundations to build the discharge care planning at home after discharge from the hospital. Hence, a discharge health educational-support programme was developed, to address their emotional challenges in the care of their preterm babies as well as to address their educational needs. The programme aimed to empower the mothers with knowledge and skills to enable them to effectively and confidently continue caring for their babies at home, as well as to address the emotional challenges brought about by prematurity.
The programme was implemented in seven sessions using demonstrations and group discussions as teaching strategies. For programme evaluation, three unstructured interviews were conducted with mothers caring for preterm babies on the discharge day of each preterm baby. Mothers said that they had found the programme useful to them, had gained knowledge and skills, were more confident in their abilities to continue with baby care at home, and they obtained emotional relief upon using the
SSA, R (2021). Investigations Into Experiences Of Mothers Who Delivered And Are Caring For Preterm Babies In Northern Namibian State Hospitals:. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/investigations-into-experiences-of-mothers-who-delivered-and-are-caring-for-preterm-babies-in-northern-namibian-state-hospitals
Research, SSA. "Investigations Into Experiences Of Mothers Who Delivered And Are Caring For Preterm Babies In Northern Namibian State Hospitals:" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/investigations-into-experiences-of-mothers-who-delivered-and-are-caring-for-preterm-babies-in-northern-namibian-state-hospitals . Accessed 13 May. 2021.
Research, SSA. "Investigations Into Experiences Of Mothers Who Delivered And Are Caring For Preterm Babies In Northern Namibian State Hospitals:". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021. Web. 13 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/investigations-into-experiences-of-mothers-who-delivered-and-are-caring-for-preterm-babies-in-northern-namibian-state-hospitals >.
Research, SSA. "Investigations Into Experiences Of Mothers Who Delivered And Are Caring For Preterm Babies In Northern Namibian State Hospitals:" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 13, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/investigations-into-experiences-of-mothers-who-delivered-and-are-caring-for-preterm-babies-in-northern-namibian-state-hospitals