Segre’s Research Highlighted in Iowa Now
Listening matters for mothers
By Richard C. Lewis
For most women, childbirth is an intense experience, culminating in the joy of delivering a newborn, swaddled and sweet, resting in the mother’s arms within hours. Yet for those who deliver their babies prematurely, the experience is bereft of such bonding, laden with anxiety, confusion, and doubt.
“Having a prematurely born baby is like a nightmare for the mother," explains Lisa Segre, assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Nursing. "You're expecting to have a healthy baby, and suddenly you're left wondering whether he or she is going to live."
These new moms have a tremendous need for help while they're in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). So, Segre and a longtime NICU nurse, Rebecca Siewert, decided to find out whether women who delivered babies prematurely would benefit from having a nurse sit with them and listen to what they had to say. In a new study, published in the Journal of Perinatology, Segre’s research team writes that pre-term baby mothers who participated in a series of personal sessions with a NICU nurse reported lower anxiety and depression symptoms, while their self-esteem improved.
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