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Suspended Mothering: Women's Experiences Mothering an Infant with a Genetic Anomaly Identified at Birth

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Purpose: To develop an understanding of the experiences of women who give birth to an infant with a genetic anomaly not identified during the prenatal period.

Design: Exploratory design using selected qualitative methods.

Sample: Seven mothers of liveborn infants with a genetic anomaly characterized by physical attributes evident at birth.

Main Outcome Variable: Mother's expressions of suspended mothering.

Results: Two themes emerged that characterize the experience of suspended mothering: diminished maternal role and false protection.

Practice Recommendations: Facilitating maternal involvement in decision making requires giving women unbiased information in a supportive manner.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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