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Risk factors for maternal sleep in a Kangaroo Intermediate Care Unit


The hospitalization of premature infants is associated with changes in maternal sleep, especially due to some risk factors for sleep, such as stress due to the infant's fragile health, changes in their life dynamics, and the interference of the hospital environment, such as frequent artificial light exposure. In this sense, sleep problems can be an additional factor in maternal psychological distress in the context of prematurity, and a predictor of postpartum depression, because it affects emotional and cognitive regulation. Although the international literature has studied maternal sleep and its risk factors during the infant's hospitalization in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, there is a gap of studies on maternal sleep and its risk factors during the premature infant's hospitalization in the Kangaroo Intermediate Care Unit (KICU), place of continuous stay of premature infants and their mothers in the hospital.


This study aimed to assess risk factors for maternal sleep during the maternal stay at the KICU of a public maternity hospital of reference for high-risk pregnancy.


After the authorization from the Ethics Committee (CAAE:23716919.6.0000.5537), 24 mothers (age 19 to 41 years), without psychiatric and neurological disorders participated, from January to August 2021, who responded to a semi-structured interview. In this instrument, it was individually asked what would be interfering with their sleep during their stay at the KICU. Answers were registered and analyzed according to descriptive statistics.


The risk factors for sleep identified by the participants were: concerns (25%), frequent exposure to artificial light (21%), schedules to manage the baby's diet (8%), and baby crying (4%). Of the 24 mothers, 14 of them (58%) indicated some risk factor for their sleep in the context of the KICU. The most frequent factor among the mothers was a concern, that is an individual factor, and three factors were related to the environment: two directly linked to the baby (diet schedule and crying) and one linked to the hospital's physical environment (light).


Individual and environmental risk factors interfered in maternal sleep at the KICU, principally related to concerns and constant artificial light exposure. This data suggests that interventions related to the management of these risk factors for sleep may be options to promote the quality of maternal sleep at the KICU.


Sleep; Kangaroo-Mother Care Method; Mothers; Mental Health; Infant, Premature


Área Clínica


Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte - Rio Grande do Norte - Brasil


Lucas Dantas Lima, Ralina Carla Lopes Martins da Silva, Larissa Maiara Fernandes de Morais, Katie Moraes de Almondes