Becoming a mother is one of the most important life changing events that a woman experience. The birth of very-low-birth-weight preterm infants imposes many challenges for the mothers. There is insufficient information regarding the mothers' experiences on the process of becoming a mother when their preterm infants are in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The aim of this study was to investigate the barriers of parenting in mothers with a very low- birth- weight preterm infant, and their coping strategies.
Materials and Methods
This study was carried out in a major neonatal care center in Urmia located in North West of Iran based on qualitative approach and by focusing on content analysis. Eighteen mothers were observed and interviewed while their infants were in NICU. The interviews were recorded and printed out. The data were analyzed according to Graneheim and Lund man. MAXQDA2007 was applied to manage the data.
The participants’ experience indicated that they experienced barriers in becoming a mother, so they use some strategies to cope with this situation. Merging the "barriers of parenting" and "applied strategies" resulted in extracting a category which was called "establishment of communication". Each category included subcategories.
It seems that there is an urgent need for healthcare professionals to be sensitive to the need of mothers regarding mothering process with consideration to culture as a bridge to facilitate the new role as a mother.