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Review of Interventions to Reduce Stress Among Mothers of Infants in the NICU

Chertok, Ilana R. Azulay PhD, RN, IBCLC; McCrone, Susan PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC; Parker, Dennelle MSN, RN, FNP-BC; Leslie, Nan PhD, RN, WHNP

Section Editor(s): Catlin, Anita

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000044
Ethical Issues in Newborn Care

Nearly half a million preterm infants are born each year in the United States. Preterm delivery has significant psychosocial implications for mothers, particularly when their baby spends time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The decrease in length of gestation causes mothers to have to parent prematurely, without the less time for emotional preparation than mothers of full-term infants. Parents of NICU infants experience stress related to feelings of helplessness, exclusion and alienation, and lack sufficient knowledge regarding parenting and interacting with their infants in the NICU. There are a number of interventions that nurses can do that help reduce the stress of mothers of infants in the NICU.

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School of Nursing, West Virginia University, Morgantown.

Correspondence: Ilana R. Azulay Chertok, PhD, RN, IBCLC, WVU School of Nursing, West Virginia University, PO Box 9630, Morgantown, WV 26506 (

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses