A Mexican American mother's experience in the neonatal intensive care unit

J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. Apr-Jun 2009;23(2):178-85. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181a391fd.


Background: Most parents would agree that the admission of an infant to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is stressful. Existing research is focused on white mothers, with little known about the experiences of Spanish-speaking, Mexican American mothers who have an infant in the NICU.

Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to describe the experiences of a Spanish-speaking, Mexican American mother whose infant had been in the NICU.

Methods: Qualitative description was used to conduct this study. One Spanish-speaking, Mexican American mother who had an infant in the NICU was recruited through purposive sampling. An in-depth interview was conducted, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze the data.

Findings: Analysis of the data revealed that the experience of a Spanish-speaking, Mexican American mother who had an infant in the NICU was one of uncertainty, involvement, trust, and anticipating discrimination.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel / ethnology
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / psychology*
  • Mexican Americans / education
  • Mexican Americans / ethnology*
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Prejudice
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Spinal Dysraphism / ethnology
  • Spinal Dysraphism / nursing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Trust
  • Uncertainty