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Table 2 Examples of meaning units, subthemes and a theme

From: Mothers’ experiences of parenting and everyday life of children born at 23 weeks of gestation – a qualitative descriptive study

Meaning unit




“I have been much more protective of her than of [the full-born sibling]. Of course, I protect [the sibling] as well, but it’s different.”

protecting the preterm child more than the full-term sibling



Intensive mothering

“I haven’t even trusted [husband] to stay home to take care of our son.”

difficulty in trusting other caregivers

“I have educated the coaches in her [sports team] about her special needs so that they would know how to cope with her.”

actively participating in the child’s free-time activities

maternal dedication

“We were active in arranging her to start in special education. As the parent, you are the expert of your child, you know what’s good for her and what’s not.”

advocating for the child in education decisions