Maternal participation in the care of the high risk infant: follow-up evaluation

Indian Pediatr. 1991 Feb;28(2):161-7.


Fifty mothers of high risk infants admitted to the Neonatal Special Care Unit were followed up to the postnatal age of 2.5 mo +/- 15 days. Twenty five mothers (Group I) had stayed in the nursery with the infant for a period of 4.8 +/- 4.6 days until the discharge of the infant, providing expressed milk and participating in the non-specialised care of the infant. The other 25 mothers (Group II) remained separate from their babies for the duration of the latter's stay in the hospital although some of the mothers did come off and on to give expressed human milk and at times handle their infants. Family features such as parental age, educational and occupational status, and presence of residential elder women, were similar in the two groups. Infant characteristics too, such as sex, birth weight, and early neonatal morbidity were also comparable. Operative deliveries and maternal problems were as expected more in the separated group. The duration of the infants' hospital stay was also more in the latter (9.5 +/- 3.5 vs 6.3 +/- 3.9 days; p greater than 0.05). Subsequent to their discharge, mothers who had stayed with the infant identified the following benefits of their stay--acquiring of knowledge relevant to infant care especially hygiene (19) and their personal involvement in the care of their infant (12), both of which they said increased their self confidence in looking after the babies after discharge, and provision of breast milk round the clock (17).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / standards*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Maternal Age
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Rooming-in Care / standards*