Purpose: To describe the challenges mothers identify in bottle feeding their preterm infants prior to discharge from the NICU.
Design: Mothers bottle fed their infants in the NICU while being videotaped. Following the feeding, a semifocused interview was conducted with the mother using playback of the videotaped feeding to enhance exploration of the experience of feeding.
Sample: The participants were 22 mothers of preterm infants (< or = 1,500 grams).
Main outcome variable: Mothers' challenges in feeding preterm infants.
Results: Mothers identified three major categories of challenge: ensuring safety during the feeding, ensuring adequate intake of calories, and advancing the feeding plan once home. Mothers described strategies they used to meet these challenges and discussed the implications some of these strategies held for them.