Background: Hospitalization of neonates in NICUs may subject mothers to shock and depression as a result of giving birth to babies who have low birth weight or premature babies and hence very fragile. This type of hospitalization disrupts the family process and subjects the parents of these babies to a state of crisis and disarray. These challenges range from social, economic, physiological and psychological in nature. There are no support groups for mothers with preterm babies to share their pain, experiences or interact with other mothers with similar problems. Over all, the problems of preterm babies may be in the increase yet not satisfactorily documented in the Ghanaian context.
Purpose: This study seeks to explore the social support system and its influence on maternal experiences.
Methodology: The study used exploratory descriptive design. The Study was conducted in the Tamale Metropolis, specifically targeting women with preterm babies undergoing treatment at the Tamale Central Hospital. The purposive sampling technique was used to recruit participants for the study. A semi-structured interview guide was used to conduct face-to-face interviews with participants. The tape-recorded interviews were then transcribed verbatim and analysed manually with the content analysis approach. The results were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: The findings of the study demonstrated that when the participants were provided with information on how to care and were also shown how to provide the caring activities, they developed confidence in taking care of their preterm baby.
Conclusion: Support from staff, other mothers in the neonatal unit and the participants’ families assisted them to cope and promoted bonding. Management should support all neonatal intensive care facilities with adequate equipment and logistics to facilitate newborn care which will help limit the stay of hospitalized preterm babies in the neonatal intensive care units.HTML PDF
Share this article