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Becoming a parent to an infant requiring neonatal intensive care

Booth, N (2011) Becoming a parent to an infant requiring neonatal intensive care. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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The number of babies that require care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit continues to rise in the UK and parents who have a baby who is born sick or prematurely find themselves adapting to this stressful and often unexpected event whilst also trying to establish their role as a new parent. With no current large British studies, this study explores the experiences of both mothers and fathers in the NICU in relation to adaptation and parental role development and how their experience changes over time. In total 76 parents were interviewed using semi structured interviews 7-10 days following the birth to capture their early experiences of the NICU and then again beyond 28 days to explore any changes in their views and feelings over time. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim into the written word and imported into WINMAX PRO. Data analysis revealed nine major sections. These are preparation prior to birth, labour and delivery, first sight of infant, support from the partner, family, friends and other parents, support from and communication with staff, adaptation to the NICU experience, development of the parental role, changes with time and the experiences of fathers. Findings show differences in what mothers and fathers find stressful about their NICU experience, how they adapt to the birth of a sick or premature infant and in their development of the parental role. With the passage of time the events surrounding the birth became less significant as parents start to look to the future. Their role as a parent continued to develop with feelings that their baby needed and recognised them, but many parents felt that they were unable to influence what happened to their baby in the NICU. Recommendations are made for further research and for changes to NICU practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 11:37
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:30
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00006095
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6095
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