Information needs for Inclusion in a Post-Discharge Guideline Booklet for Mothers with Prematurely born Babies in a Low-Resource Setting in South Africa

Malmsey L.M. Sengane1, *, Carin Maree2, Louise René van Niekerk3
1 Department of Nursing Science, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
2 Department of Nursing Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
3 Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Nursing Management, Pretoria, South Africa

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© 2021 Sengane et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Nursing Science Department, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa; E-mail:



Prematurity brings along a high risk of early and late mortality and morbidity that demands specialized care within the NICU. Mothers of premature babies often feel powerless and helpless once the premature baby is discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These experiences might interfere with their transitions into parenthood as they might question their ability to care for their baby. As nurses become greatly concerned regarding the continuity of care at home, the purpose of this study was to explore and describe the information that mothers of prematurely born babies need upon discharge for inclusion in a guideline booklet.


A qualitative explorative design was used to conduct interviews with mothers of prematurely born babies in a NICU of a tertiary hospital in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Purposive sampling was used to select mothers whose prematurely born babies were preparing for discharge from NICU and mothers whose babies were discharged and at home and were brought to the hospital for their six weeks follow-up after discharge. Unstructured individual interviews were conducted.


The following seven themes were identified, namely feeding of a prematurely born baby, positioning of the baby, infection control and hygiene, care for a sick baby or baby with special needs, immunisation and clinic visits, normal development and growth, and information guidelines.


The findings of this study were used to include essential information in a guideline booklet for mothers with prematurely born babies upon discharge from the NICU.

Keywords: Mother information needs, Prematurely born baby, Neonatal intensive care unit, Low-resource setting, South Africa, Infection, Hygiene.