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The experiences of teenage mothers in the neonatal unit


[thumbnail of 90 credit dissertation in partial fulfilment of the Master of Nursing] PDF (90 credit dissertation in partial fulfilment of the Master of Nursing)
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The nurse's knowledge of patients' experiences contributes to gaining a deeper understanding of their health process and enables the nurse to develop a caring, therapeutic relationship. There is very little literature that focuses on the experiences of teenage mothers whose babies are in the neonatal unit. Therefore the purpose of this phenomenological study was to enquire into their experiences. The background to the study was outlined including the neonatal environment, family centred care, needs of parents in the neonatal unit, adolescence and teenage mothers. The phenomenological framework of van Manen and its application to this study has been described. The purpose of the study was to hear and value the stories as told by the teen mothers; inform and strengthen health care practice and identify areas of change if change is necessary.

Conversations with four teenage mothers were taped, transcribed and then analysed using van Manen's (1997) approach to researching lived experience. From the analysis two main themes emerged – the need to do [mothering] and being in a safe place. A third theme – the emotional roller-coaster – was also identified and ran throughout the stories. The experiences of the teenage mothers were compared and contrasted with the existing literature. A key finding of the research was that teenage mothers, despite their developmental stage, had similar experiences to those of older mothers in the same situation. Additionally, their competence at mothering was greater than might have been expected.

Recommendations were made related to 'family centred care' in the neonatal unit to ensure all mothers have the support, information and education they need. Additionally, the research supports the development of strong therapeutic relationships with mothers based on partnership in decision making and care giving which, in turn, sees a transfer of power and control to the mother.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: neonatal intensive care unit, adolescent parents, parenting, teenage mothers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Gaby Douglas
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2012 00:38
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:00

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