Lived experiences of mothers of with premature babies in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a selected hospital, in United Arab Emirates: A Qualitative Content Analysis (Published)
Background: A mother’s expectation and excitement of having a healthy newborn is cut short when a baby is born premature. She is faced with the fear and anxiety of losing her baby or overwhelming thoughts of her baby suffering inconceivable distress in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Aim: This study explored the lived experience of mothers who had a premature baby admitted to NICU. Methods: A qualitative design with a phenomenological approach was used for the study. It was conducted from October to January 2019 among eleven women whose premature babies were admitted in the NICU at a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Purposive sampling was used to choose the participants which continued until data saturation was reached. Data was collected using in-depth, semi structured face- to- face recorded interviews and analyzed using Colaizzi’s method. Results: Three themes were generated from the analysis. Mother’s expression of thoughts and emotions while their babies in NICU; Families experienced emotion while their premature babies were in the NICU and Mothers perception of care and support from health care professionals. Conclusion: Mothers and family members were anxious about the survival of their premature babies admitted to NICU. They exhibited emotions such as anxiety, anger and sadness. During the recovering process, mothers relied on family support, faith and hope to help get through the ordeal. Satisfaction of nurses providing competent care and provision of psychological support to the mothers helped them to cope.