O.N. Lloyd

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Koren, Mary E.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Nursing and Health Studies


When one thinks of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), technical skills and electronic monitoring are often considered the most important. While this may be appropriate when considering the maternal-infant experience in the NICU from a medical perspective, it is far from the case from the nursing perspective. As nurses, it is our responsibility and duty to care holistically for our patients’ being, which includes their mental and emotional strength as well as their physical and medical needs. In the context of mothers and babies, this means doing everything in nurse’s power to promote the maternal-infant bond. While this may seem to be a daunting task, it can best be accomplished through careful consideration of the feelings of mothers who have had infants in the NICU. A literature review of the mother’s experience in the NICU can provide useful information. Once their experiences are understood, the next steps can be taken. This encompasses developing relevant and effective nursing interventions and implementing them to facilitate mother-infant bonding. The three major areas of discussion, based on the literature, include: communication with mothers, actions mothers can take, and redesign of the NICU itself- both its setting and policies. The following paper should serve as a guide to any future or current NICU nurse who wishes to learn and then employ the best evidence-based practice into their daily clinical settings. It can be used as a reference to empower mothers through comprehensive communication which allows mothers to take an active part in their infants’ care. Also included is a look at how nurses can advocate for the redesign of the NICU setting to better facilitate both of these processes.


26 pages




Northern Illinois University

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