• We prospectively studied the stress perception of ten mothers of preterm infants on apnea monitors (birth weight, 1255±295 g) and ten mothers of term infants on monitors (3156±700 g) and compared them with 15 mothers of preterm infants (1450±305 g) and 15 mothers of term infants (3360±595 g) not on monitors. The Life Experience Survey, a stress assessment questionnaire, and the social support questionnaire of Henderson were administered to the 50 mothers. Stress perception scores were higher for mothers of infants on monitors than for mothers of infants not on monitors. Regression analyses indicated that mothers of infants on monitors experienced less perceived stress when they received greater support. Mothers of infants on monitors who experienced less stress reported greater general life satisfaction and greater satisfaction with parenting.