Exploring the Relationship Between Mother and Baby in the Nicu in Relation to Nursing Support.

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Exploring the relationship between mother and baby in the NICU in relation to nursing support.


Aim -To explore the effect of interaction related to care-giving and information exchange between nurses and mothers in relation to maternal stress and maternal-infant relationship in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) throughout the hospital stay.

Background - Mothers in the NICU experience depression, anxiety, stress, and loss of control, and they fluctuate between feelings of inclusion and exclusion related to the provision of health care to their neonate. This literature review helps to identify nursing interventions that promote positive outcomes between mother and baby by reducing maternal feelings of stress and anxiety.

Search Method - A literature search covering the period 2008-2012 was conducted. Five articles reporting both quantitative and qualitative studies relative to the subject were retrieved.

Findings - Findings reveal that positive and trustful relationships between nurses and mothers develop when nurses communicate and interact with mothers. This alleviated mother’s anxiety and enhanced their confidence when interacting with their baby.

Discussion - Critical analysis as well as strengths and weaknesses of the relative journals reviewed is given together with useful recommendations that emerge from the evidence.

Conclusion - The literature reviewed shows that nurse-mother interaction improves mother-infant relationship. In turn, this will eventually assist in decreasing maternal stress and improve the maternal well-being.


Mothers develop attachment to their baby during pregnancy, which continues and develops more fully after the child is born (Cleveland 2009). However, the pathway to becoming a mother is threatened with the admission of the baby to the NICU. This occurs due to the unfamiliar and intimidating environment of the NICU (Obeidat et al 2009). During the initial admission parents...
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