When Baby Stops Breathing: Analysis of Mothers’ Interviews

Deborah Stiffler, Deborah Cullen, Evelyn Stephenson, Gaye Luna, Taylor D. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sudden unexplained infant death is responsible for 14% of Indiana’s infant mortality. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe mothers’ experiences when death of an infant occurred suddenly and unexpectedly. Field deputies or social workers interviewed mothers from central Indiana during the child-death team investigations. The Thematic Analysis Program from the Joanna Briggs Institute was used to analyze interview data. Sixteen de-identified interview cases were extracted, and a meta-aggregate method was conducted. The three synthesized themes were Extreme Emotional Shock, We Feel Like We’re to Blame, and Working Toward Moving On. Understanding these phenomena from mothers’ experience may assist in eliminating risks associated with infant deaths and inform nursing practice and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-324
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • infant mortality
  • infant suffocation
  • public health nursing
  • qualitative research
  • sudden unexplained death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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