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Abstract : <p>Mothers of neonates who require special care begin their experience of motherhood in the unfamiliar environment of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which may result in delayed maternal attachment. This study examined the emotional experience of mothers of newborn babies admitted in Newborn Special Care Unit (NBSCU) in University of Nigeria, Teaching Hospital, Enugu-Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to identify the causes/sources of stress, assess the emotional responses of the mothers of neonates, determine the perceived problems caused by neonate-mother separation and identify the coping strategies adopted by mothers of neonates. Descriptive research design was adopted in the study among 62 mothers of neonates. Structured questionnaire was used to obtain data. The result of the study shows that the prominent cause of stress among the mothers was fear of the child dying with mean score of 3.70 + 0.46, the identified emotional reactions were the feeling of depression/sadness 62(100%); powerlessness and trembling lips/separation led to inability to work and engage in hobbies with mean score of 3.93 + .25, increase emotional disability with mean score of 3.66 + .63, lack of child breast feeding mean score of 3.87 + .34 while, praying for the child quick recovery with mean score of 4.0 + 00 was the coping strategies adopted. It was recommended that the nurses should open communication to the mothers and the relatives of the newborn mothers should provide more support to enable their feeling of stress reduce.</p>

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