The experience of becoming a grandmother to a premature infant - A balancing act, influenced by ambivalent feeling
2012 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 21, no 21-22, 3297-3305 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aims and objectives. To explore and describe the experience of becoming a grandmother to a premature infant.
Background. Becoming a grandmother involves a new perspective of life. Grandmothers of sick infants find themselves in a new situation with an adult child undergoing serious stress. Few studies have approached the grandmothers’ own experience of becoming a grandmother to a premature infant.
Design. A qualitative content analysis was used.
Methods. Eleven women, 52–66 years of age, who were grandmothers to premature infants born at a gestational age of 25–34 weeks, were interviewed during 2010. The infants were less than three years old at the time of the interview. The interviews were analysed with qualitative content analysis.
Results. The overall theme was a balancing act. Two categories of experience were identified: emotional experiences and a new role. ‘Emotional experiences’ was related to the first meeting, ambivalent feelings and confidence in care. ‘A new role’ was related to the subcategories supportive, a balance of involvement and limitations.
Conclusions. To become a grandmother to a premature infant was experienced as a balancing act influenced by ambivalent feelings of joy, fear and worry. The grandmothers sensed the seriousness of the situation at the same time as they wanted to be happy about the newborn infant. They worried about their adult child’s as well as the premature infant’s health but put their own needs aside. The grandmothers’ new role was a balance between being involved and supportive without disturbing.
Relevance to clinical practice. Neonatal intensive care unit staff should be open to grandmothers’ needs and acknowledge them as an obvious support for the immediate family of a premature infant. The grandmothers need guidance and information about what to expect concerning the infants health, the parents situation and their own role.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Vol. 21, no 21-22, 3297-3305 p.
content analysis; extended family; family care; neonatal care; preterm infant
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79736DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04204.xISI: 000310393800032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-79736DiVA: diva2:544097