Original Research

The lived experiences of mothers who have children with congenital abnormalities in the Gert Sibande district

Thandeka B. Mazibuko, Tendani Ramukumba, Nomusa Ngwenya
Curationis | Vol 45, No 1 | a2250 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v45i1.2250 | © 2022 Thandeka B. Mazibuko, Tendani Ramukumba, Nomusa Ngwenya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 April 2021 | Published: 26 July 2022

About the author(s)

Thandeka B. Mazibuko, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Tendani Ramukumba, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Nomusa Ngwenya, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Mothers are regarded as primary care givers. The experience of having a child with congenital abnormality may have an impact on their psychological well-being. It was observed that the psychological well-being of mothers is often unattended by health professionals, including nurses and their families. Mothers make adjustments in their daily lives to ensure the child’s activities of daily living are attended. Therefore, this raises the need for the experience of mothers who have children with congenital abnormalities in the Gert Sibande district to be explored. Gert Sibande was chosen because it has been observed that several mothers who visit the clinic and outpatient department have children with congenital abnormalities.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the lived experiences of mothers who have children with congenital abnormalities.

Method: A phenomenological study was conducted. Purposive sampling of 12 participants was done. The study used adjusted ecological model of health for guidance. Data gathering was done by self-report using unstructured face-to-face interviews until data saturation was reached.

Results: Five themes emerged from the study, which include ‘being hurt emotionally’, ‘sense of guilt’, ‘acceptance’, ‘support from family’ and ‘community reaction to the congenital abnormality’. The findings show that mothers were affected by having children with congenital abnormalities.

Conclusion: The study revealed that mothers of children with congenital abnormalities experienced devastation, denial, guilt and lack of acceptance of their child’s condition. The study indicates that mothers require support from health care professionals, family and the community.


Keywords

congenital abnormalities; lived experiences; children; mothers; Gert Sibande

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