The hospitalization of a newborn separates mother and child at a time when their contact is essential for developing the mother's role. Therefore, mothers tend to feel incapable of meeting their child's needs, and face difficulties in dealing with their personal feelings and the demands of their family. The objective of this study was to identify the defining characteristics of the nursing diagnosis Conflict in performing the role of mother in studies addressing the experience of being a mother in the neonatal unit. This is an integrative literature review, which utilized 15 qualitative studies published between 2004 and 2009, in journals indexed in the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature and on the Medical Literature and Retrieval System Online. This diagnosis is a nursing phenomenon to be studied by neonatal nurses so they are able to recognize and propose interventions to meet the mothers' needs, considering that nine out of ten defining characteristics were identified in the mothers' statements.
Mother-child relations; Infant; Hospitalization; Child; Maternal behavior; Nursing diagnosis