Various studies have been conducted on the stress level that parents of premature babies go through while their baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  A qualitative approach study was retrieved for the purpose of supporting the evidence of the subpopulation of parents of premature babies.  The method that was used was semi interview style.  Two mothers that were in preterm labor were used for the study.  The mothers were found to be feeling separation anxiety after delivering their babies prematurely.  The feelings that the mothers felt were that of a shattered dream, their ideal situation of having an uncomplicated birth and taking a newborn home right after delivery and planning that so called “normal life,” had been shattered  (Da Costa Krieger et al., 2014).

There are many studies conducted on the stress level that parents of premature babies face therefore making it a good population to continue researching and seeing what kind of impact can be made to support this group.  The evidence that was found compounded more stress on parents and this was stated in the study using Spradley’s domain analysis.  In Spradley’s domain analysis,  mothers were found to be stressed not only because of the fact that their baby was in the NICU,  but stressed because the nurses taking care of their baby made the parents feel like they were a visitor as opposed to a mother (Heerman, Wilson, & Wilhelm, 2005).

The findings obtained from this research  proved that no matter how many parents are used for the studies, the common denominator remains the same, parents of premature babies carry a lot of stress.  The stress carried at home due to family obligations with other kids, financial, different schedules, trips to the hospital, attending other kids’ schedules, brings stress to the parents who have babies in the NICU.  The NICU stress alone wondering whether the baby will survive is part of the stressors in the NICU.


Da Costa Krieger, D., Valeria de Oliveira, J., Bittencourt, V., Garcia Parker, A., Ambrosina de Oliveira Vargas, M., Regina de Luz, K., & Marin, S. (2014, August). Perception of Prematurity A Case Study Aimed at Approaching Mothers. Journal of Nursing, 2754-2761.

Heerman, J. A., Wilson, M. E., & Wilhelm, P. A. (2005, May/June). Mothers in the NICU: Outsider to Partner. Pediatric Nursing, 31(3), 176-200.


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