Guidelines to facilitate the nursing accompaniment of mothers with infants in a neonatal intensive care unit

  • D van Rooyen
  • Z L Nomgqokwana
  • W J Kotzé
  • S Carlson
Keywords: mother, infant, neonatal intensive care unit, registered nurse, accompaniment


To be the mother of a premature infant in a neonatal intensive care unit can sometimes be overwhelming. The hospital environment and the sound made by the life support apparatus in the unit may be terrifying for persons who are unfamiliar with this environment. An observation of the researcher, who practises in a neonatal intensive care unit, was that mothers were often very distressed after the admission of their infants. It also appeared as if health care practitioners were failing to provide for the needs of these mothers. The objectives of the research on which this article is based were: firstly, to acknowledge and describe the experiences of the mothers with regard to the hospitalisation of their infants in the neonatal intensive care unit and secondly, to utilise the information obtained to develop guidelines to assist registered nurses accompanying mothers throughout their infants' stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The conclusion was reached that mothers whose infants are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit have a need for compassionate accompaniment by registered nurses during the period of hospitalisation of their infants.

Keywords: mother; infant; neonatal intensive care unit; registered nurse; accompaniment

Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 11 (2) 2006: pp. 3-12

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848