Kangaroo Mother Care helps fathers of preterm infants gain confidence in the paternal role

Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.74). 11/2011; 68(9):1988-96. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05886.x
Source: PubMed


This article is a report on a descriptive study of fathers’ experiences of providing their preterm infants with Kangaroo Mother Care.
During neonatal intensive care, fathers describe the incubator as a barrier and the separation from their infant as stressful. Fathers consider it important to be close to the infant, and performing Kangaroo Mother Care makes them feel an important participant in their infants' care.
Individual interviews conducted in 2009 with seven fathers who performed Kangaroo Mother Care were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
The fathers' opportunity for being close to their infants facilitated attainment of their paternal role in the neonatal intensive care unit. Kangaroo Mother Care allowed them to feel in control and that they were doing something good for their infant, although the infant's care could be demanding and stressful. As active agents in their infant's care, some fathers stayed with the infant during the whole hospital stay, others were at the neonatal intensive care unit all day long. Despite the un-wished-for situation, they adapted to their predicament and spent as much time as possible with their infants.
Fathers' opportunities for Kangaroo Mother Care helped them to attain their paternal role and to cope with the unexpected situation. The physical environment and conflicting staff statements influenced their opportunity for, and experience of, caring for their preterm infants.

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Available from: Ylva Thernström Blomqvist
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    • "As the infant's health is dependent on professional care, parents may be made to feel that they are not needed in the care of their infant (Hall 2005, Heermann et al. 2005, Wigert et al. 2006). However, parents' participation is important as it facilitates the desired parent–infant bonding (McGrath 2001, Mok & Leung 2006, Fegran et al. 2008, Fenwick et al. 2008, Blomqvist et al. 2012) and prepares the family for discharge from the NICU (Fegran et al. 2008, Rehm & Bisgaard 2008). Previous studies have shown that parents' adjustment to assuming full responsibility for the infant may be difficult and that the family may need additional support in the transition from NICU to home (Rehm & Bisgaard 2008, Nicolaou et al. 2009, Murdoch & Franck 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: A descriptive study of parents' experiences with neonatal home care following initial care in the neonatal intensive care unit. As survival rates improve among premature and critically ill infants with an increased risk of morbidity, parents' responsibilities for neonatal care grow in scope and degree under the banner of family-centred care. Concurrent with medical advances, new questions arise about the role of parents and the experience of being provided neonatal care at home. An interview study with a phenomenological hermeneutic approach. Parents from a Swedish neonatal (n = 22) home care setting were extensively interviewed within one year of discharge. Data were collected during 2011-2012. The main theme of the findings is that parents experience neonatal home care as an inner emotional journey, from having a child to being a parent. This finding derives from three themes: the parents' experience of leaving the hospital milieu in favour of establishing independent parenthood, maturing as a parent and processing experiences during the period of neonatal intensive care. This study suggests that neonatal home care is experienced as a care structure adjusted to incorporate parents' needs following discharge from a neonatal intensive care unit. Neonatal home care appears to bridge the gap between hospital and home, supporting the family's adaptation to life in the home setting. Parents become empowered to be primary caregivers, having nurse consultants serving the needs of the whole family. Neonatal home care may therefore be understood as the implementation of family-centred care during the transition from NICU to home.
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    • "Encouraging fathers towards SSC soon after birth improves the situation for infants by not having them wait for SSC. Blomqvist, Rubertsson, Kylberg, Jöreskog& Nyqvist (2011) found KMC gave fathers increased responsibility for the infants’ care, and Fegran, Helseth& Fagermoen (2008) found fathers’ early involvement to be “strengthened by their positive skin-to-skin experiences and by the mothers encouraging them as important contributors to the child's care.” Bondas (2005) found partners’ presence meant communion and creating of their families in women after normal birth situations, which we suggest might be equal to a preterm birth situation and therefore needs attention. "
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    • "The bonding between parents and infant increased as KC had been provided repeatedly. The parents got a feeling of being able to provide warmth and closeness and experienced that they became involved in the care of their infant [12-16]. KC also developed a sensitivity to the infants signals and active parenting [12-19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Kangaroo Care (KC) is an evidence-based nursing practice with many benefits for infants and parents. The purpose of this study was to describe parents' experience of information and communication mediated by staff nurses before and during KC at neonatal wards. A qualitative study with semi-structured interviews was performed. The sample consisted of 20 parents. THE RESULTS SHOW THAT THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION WERE EXPERIENCED AS BOTH OPTIMAL AND SUBOPTIMAL INCLUDING FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: initially conflicting emotions in relation to KC, participation and confidence in KC is evolving, strengthening preparation and context is decisive as well as parental sense and caution. The overall theme was that good preparation will contribute to a positive experience of KC. The conclusion is that most of the parents had positive experiences of KC. The information and communication from the staff nurses encouraged and motivated the parents to practice KC, in a sense that it was a natural way to get to know the infant, when the staff nurses were well versed in the method and coherent and supportive. Conflicting emotions emerged when staff nurses practised KC as a routine without deeper knowledge and skills of the method and its advantages as well as without sensitivity to parents' vulnerable situation.
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