Mothers’ experiences after coming home from the hospital with a moderately to late preterm infant – a qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Mothers of preterm infants are at greater risk of symptoms of stress and anxiety compared to mothers of term infants. Aims: This study aimed to explore mothers’ experiences after coming home from the hospital with a moderately to late preterm infant. Methods: A qualitative and explorative method was used. Ten mothers who had given birth to a preterm baby with a gestational age between 30.0 and 36.0 were interviewed. The interviews were conducted two to three months after the mothers and their babies were discharged from hospital. The data were analysed by means of latent and manifest qualitative content analysis. Findings: One overall theme emerged from the analysis: ‘Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel’ and four categories were identified ‘Finding a safe haven at home’, ‘Gaining support and learning to ensure optimal feeding’, ‘Seeing the child's possibilities’ and ‘Receiving professional attention and reassurance’. In particular, adequate breastfeeding guidance and help with practical tasks at home were emphasised as important for the mothers, and need to be incorporated into the practice of public health nurses. Conclusions: Practical help and support from close people, combined with individual professional follow-up, were important for the mothers’ ability to cope with the hospital-to-home transition. There should be a strong focus on breastfeeding guidance as the mothers experienced problems for several months after discharge, and felt they were missing out on breastfeeding guidance given to term babies in hospital.


External organisations
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • content analysis, coping, hospital-to-home transition, mothers, preterm infants, public health nurse
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Feb 4
Publication categoryResearch