‘We weren’t prepared for this’: Parents experiences of information and support following the premature birth of their infant

Blackburn, Carolyn and Harvey, M.E. (2019) ‘We weren’t prepared for this’: Parents experiences of information and support following the premature birth of their infant. Infants & Young Children, 32 (3). pp. 172-185. ISSN 0896-3746


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Having a child born prematurely can plunge parents into an unknown and sometimes frightening situation, where they experience a loss of control over events and reduced decision making capacity. Preterm birth sometimes results in post-traumatic stress disorder for parents and negatively impacts on parent-child interactional patterns, especially if parents were unprepared for this eventuality. The role of information, support and early intervention in parents’ coping capacity in this situation has been noted in developmental systems theory to contribute to family interactional patterns. This paper reports on a mixed-methods study that explored the information and support needed by and available to parents following pre-term birth in England and the effect of this on their emotional well-being. The findings suggest that support systems do not always provide timely or helpful emotional or practical support to parents and this has the potential to place additional stress on family interactional patterns, especially where parents were unprepared for the possibility of pre-term birth.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1097/IYC.0000000000000142
26 December 2018Accepted
1 July 2019Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Premature birth; families; children; early intervention
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-04 - nursing and midwifery > CAH02-04-01 - nursing (non-specific)
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-04 - health and social care > CAH15-04-01 - social work
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE)
Depositing User: Carolyn Blackburn
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2019 10:04
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 16:58
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6868

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