What mothers go through when the unexpected happens: A look at challenges of mothers with preterm babies during hospitalization in a tertiary institution in Nigeria

Context: Preterm babies require special care, including immediate hospitalization after delivery. Mothers of preterm babies may be required to stay in a hospital for a longer period and may be anxious about the treatment outcome and health of their babies. These may be stressful for most parents.


The purpose of the study was to explore the challenges of mothers with preterm babies during hospitalization in a tertiary institution in Nigeria. Setting and Design: The qualitative study was carried out at the special care baby unit (SCBU) of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital using a phenomenological approach.

Materials and Methods

Data were collected through semi-structured interviews from 12 mothers with their preterm babies on admission. Only mothers who met the inclusion criteria were interviewed. Statistical Analysis Used: Content analysis was used to analyze the data.


Six themes emerged from the challenges the mothers faced, namely limited access to baby, strange SCBU environment, inadequate spousal support, high costs of treatment, lactation problems, and informational challenges.


The results of the studies showed that mothers of preterm babies face enormous challenges when caring for their hospitalized preterm babies such as need to emotional and financial supports and educational needs. The health team should help mothers overcome these challenges by strengthening the support structures that exist. Mothers who are able to overcome their challenges can become collaborators in the provision of care, while the babies are on admission.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Sciences, Volume:7 Issue:1, 2020
22 - 29
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