Experiences of Malawian Mothers During Their Infants' Hospitalization.
BACKGROUND: Hospitalization of a newborn infant is stressful for all mothers. Hospitals in Malawi have limited nursing staff and support, so mothers are the primary care providers for their hospitalized infants. Few studies have explored the experience of these mothers as both care providers and mothers. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of mothers during the hospitalization of the infant. The goal was to increase knowledge of their primary concerns about the hospital stay. METHODS: This was a descriptive qualitative study conducted at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi. Mothers were interviewed prior to their infant's discharge. We used the directed content analysis approach to analyze our data. RESULTS: Twenty mothers of preterm or full-term infants were interviewed. The primary concerns were perinatal experiences, the infant's condition and care including breastfeeding, support from family members, and support and care from healthcare providers. Additionally, mothers of preterm infants were concerned about the burdens of kangaroo mother care. IMPLICATION FOR PRACTICE: In hospitals that provide limited nursing support to mothers and their infants, it is important to identify a support system for the mother and provide mothers with information on infant care. IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH: Future research should identify specific supports and resources in the community and hospital settings that are associated with positive hospital experiences.
Gondwe, KW; Brandon, D; Small, MJ; Malcolm, WF; Chimala, E; Beyamu, J; Chirwa, E; Kamanga, M; Holditch-Davis, D
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