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COPING AND STRESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AMONG MOTHERS OF PRETERM BABIES IN A TERTIARY HOSPITAL IN LAGOS

Prematurity is defined as a birth that occurs at weeks of gestation and coping is a way by which an individual adjust to normal homeostasis during a situation, crisis or circumstance. The study examined the coping, stress management practices and challenges faced by mothers of preterm babies in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos. The study adopted descriptive cross sectional study. Self-administered questionnaire was used to elicit information from mothers of preterm babies in the neonatal unit of Lagos University Teaching Hospital and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Categorical variables were tested for statistical significance using chi-square at 0.05 p-values. The results shows that measures used in practicing stress management are to confront the situation (56%), self-control (68%), seeking social support (59%), accepting responsibilities (86%) and praying to God during the situation (86%). The results also shows that Challenging issues faced by the mothers of preterm babies are sleep disturbances (76%), Involvement with the care of the baby (56%) and anxiety (50%). There was significant relationship between coping and practice of stress management by mothers of preterm babies at p<0.05. Health education should be given by the nurses on measures and strategies used in coping with the stress and challenges to the preterm baby’s mothers during this period to achieve a very good positive outcome.

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