Emotional Experiences of Mothers of Newborns Admitted to the NICU
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The transition to parenthood is an emotional life experience. Giving birth to a healthy baby and bringing the child home shortly thereafter is a significant emotional occasion. Even when everything goes as smoothly as possible, parents often deal with various degrees of stress and anxiety. Their lives will never be the same and they will have an entire new set of responsibilities swaddled in a little blanket. Some parents do not experience this transition the way they had envisioned and are forced to spend the first phase of their child’s life within the walls of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Studies have shown that this situation has major emotional implications for parents, both immediate and long-term. The purpose of this study is to describe the self-identified emotional responses of mothers who experienced having a newborn child hospitalized in the NICU immediately following birth.