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Keywords

Preterm infants, Social support, Family adaptation, Nursing roles, Social support needs

 

Authors

  1. LOGSDON, M. CYNTHIA DNS, RN
  2. DAVIS, DEBORAH WINDERS DNS, ARNP

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe how nurses can assist the new mother of a high-risk infant, especially a preterm infant in identifying and obtaining the social support needed to help the family adapt in the first few weeks after the birth. The interventions recommended are based on a research study conducted by the authors and colleagues and summarized within this article. Because support was more important than these mothers expected it to be, it is important that nurses in prenatal, postpartum, neonatal, home health, and extended care settings recognize the need to assist women in identifying their support needs. In addition, nurses can help the mothers identify individuals within their social network who could assist them with those needs. Meeting the social support needs of a mother is important for her own mental and physical health and well-being. It also helps her meet the social and developmental needs of her infant.