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Supporting Fathers in a NICU: Effects of the HUG Your Baby Program on Fathers’ Understanding of Preterm Infant Behavior

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Fathers of preterm babies in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are under stress. Lack of knowledge about a preterm infant’s behavior challenges new fathers who may be required to make decisions about the hospitalized infant, to update concerned family and friends, and to provide support to the mother while she recovers from giving birth. The NICU nurses have the opportunity to support and guide these new fathers, although no previous research has confirmed how to do so effectively. This study confirmed that using The HUG Your Baby DVD and family-friendly educational program with fathers of preterm babies in a NICU increased fathers’ knowledge of infant behavior and, as previous research suggests, is likely to boost fathers’ confidence and to promote the parent‐child relationship and strengthen the family unit.

Keywords: HUG Your Baby program; fathers’ understanding; neonatal intensive care unit; preterm infant behavior

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2013

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