Factors Contributing to Emotional Distress among Postpartum Mothers with Newborns at Newborn Unit Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya


  • Omulo O. Wycliffe; BScN1 , Cheptum Jebet Joyce2 ; Mageto G. Irene Mageto3




Emotional distress, postpartum mothers, newborn unit, factors, baby.


Background: The expectation of a woman during pregnancy is to have a healthy live bay with no
complications. Admission of a newborn baby to the newborn unit is distressing to the parents, more so in
cases where there is little or no support from the health care team and other players.
Objective: To establish factors contributing to emotional distress among postpartum mothers with newborns
at newborn unit Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study employing a quantitative method by use of an
interviewer-administered questionnaire. The study was conducted among 59 postpartum mothers with
newborns at the Newborn Unit Kenyatta National Hospital. Simple random sampling technique was
employed and data collected using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using
Statistical Package for The Social SPSS version 25 software. Qualitative data was coded, categorized into
themes and thematic analysis done.
Results: The factors contributing to maternal emotional distress were low levels of education primary
14(23.7%) and secondary 23(39.0%) and unemployment 27(45.8%). In addition, lengthy NBU stays
34(57.6%), ineffective communication patterns 18(30.5%) and null communication 9(15.3%) between
mothers and the healthcare givers contributed to emotional distressConclusion: There are sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and hospital factors contributing to maternal
emotional distress.

Author Biography

Omulo O. Wycliffe; BScN1 , Cheptum Jebet Joyce2 ; Mageto G. Irene Mageto3

BSc Nursing Student at The Stime of The Study, 2
Lecturer, Midwifery and Obsteric Nursing, 3
Lecturer, Mental
Health and Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 19676-00202,
Kenyatta National Hospital Nairobi, Kenya