Craving Closeness: A grounded theory analysis of women's experiences of mothering in the Special Care Nursery
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The aim of the study was to increase knowledge and understanding of how women begin their roles as mothers when their infant is in neonatal nursery. Research is limited into how women experience mothering in contexts such as the neonatal nursery. Consequently many nurses and midwives remain inadequately informed of parents' experiences which we know may have long-term family outcomes. It becomes clear that the intense work women undertake as mothers in the nursery is focused on not only the infant, which might be expected, but also the nursery staff. It is driven by their desire to develop or re-establish some sense of competence in the eyes of the nurse and to achieve control over the situation. Achieving physical closeness with the baby was a major strategy through which women not only learned about and gained intimate knowledge of their infant, but also demonstrated authority and ownership. It appears that reorientating the delivery of services from the infant to the mother - infant dyad would improve the care women and families receive during their nursery experience.
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