Maternal Coping with Baby Hospitalization at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


  • Fabiana Pinheiro Ramos Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo
  • Sônia Regina Fiorim Enumo Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas
  • Kely Maria Pereira de Paula Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo



coping behavior, premature birth, motherhood, hospitalization


Coping is defined by actions of self-regulation of emotions, cognitions, behaviors, and motivational orientation under stress. This study analyzed the maternal coping with hospitalization of premature and low birth weight infants at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), using the Motivational Theory of Coping. A questionnaire, a scale and an interview were applied to 25 mothers three times between birth and hospital discharge. The results showed that the mothers’ first visit to the NICU had strong emotional impact; longer hospitalization periods were linked to the decrease in Delegation coping strategies. There was more Support Seeking after the hospital discharge. Multiparous mothers and those who had a job appeared to be more vulnerable to stress. Predominantly adaptive coping responses were identified, even among two mothers whose babies had died, including Self-Reliance strategies, which were mediated by religious beliefs.


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How to Cite

Ramos, F. P., Enumo, S. R. F., & Paula, K. M. P. de. (2017). Maternal Coping with Baby Hospitalization at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto), 27(67), 10-19.