African American mothers' responses to hospitalization of an infant with serious health problems.
PURPOSE: To describe African American mothers' experiences related to the hospitalization of an infant with serious health problems. DESIGN: Retrospective descriptive. SAMPLE: 19 African American mothers with premature and term infants who were hospitalized at birth for serious health problems related to sequelae of prematurity or birth defect. MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLE: African American mothers' recollections about the hospitalization of their seriously ill infant. RESULTS: The mothers worried primarily about when the baby could go home. Their greatest source of stress was separation from the infant. Seeing their sick infant was also stressful and evoked shock, fear, denial, guilt, and helplessness. Mothers sought hope by seeking information and cues from the infant and by praying to God. Mothers established a relationship with their infant by visiting regularly and by learning how to care for him. Some mothers feared getting attached to an infant who might die. Mothers' highest source of satisfaction was support from the health care team.
Miles, MS; Wilson, SM; Docherty, SL
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