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J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2001 Sep;15(2):65-82.

Mothers' strategies to meet their needs in the newborn intensive care nursery.

Author information

Center on Research on Vulnerable Women, Children, and Families, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.


In this prospective, critical ethnographic study using a total of 448 hours of participant observations incorporating in-depth interviews, the author explored with 12 mothers of premature babies their descriptions and interpretations of their own needs in a tertiary-level newborn nursery (NICU) and their actions to address these needs. In the NICU the mothers demonstrated a repertoire of actions to vigilantly "watch over" their premature babies, which they extended to address their own needs as well. The mothers employed these actions in such a way as to minimize the potential for diverting resources from their babies and to minimize conflict with caregivers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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