Beaudry, Robyn Lynn (1996) Women's lived experience with midwifery support : a phenomenological study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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There is a paucity of qualitative research in the literature that focuses on the experience of midwifery support from the woman's perspective. Many researchers have concentrated on other closely related issues, such as the physiological effects on the birth process resulting from a childbirth attendant being present with the laboring woman, the nurse's role during childbirth, or women's satisfaction with the birth experience. Most of these researchers used a quantitative approach. In the present study, phenomenology, a qualitative methodology, was used to explore women's experiences with midwifery support during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. -- The study included 8 women, 3 primiparas and 5 multiparas. Six of these women were initially contacted regarding participation in the research by the midwife who had supported them through their last labor. Two women heard of the research through friends and approached the researcher themselves. The method of data collection involved taped, unstructured interviews of 30-100 minutes duration, during which participants were encouraged to offer spontaneous verbal descriptions of their experiences. -- From the analysis of the interview data, nine common, essential themes were identified, These included (a) midwife as ideal mother, (b) midwife as buffer: ensuring an optimum birth experience, (c) continuity in the midst of fragmentation: the midwife as a known constant, (d) presencing, (e) intuitive knowing, (f) seeking safe passage through the expertise of the midwife, (g) seeing the whole: the woman as part of a family, (h) maintaining control while letting go, and (i) midwife as trusted and trusting. The themes were not isolated, but were interrelated to form a whole that captured the experience of midwifery support for the women in the study. The significance or essence of the experience was that, for these women, the midwife was seen as an essential and irreplaceable dimension of the birth experience. -- The findings stress the need for more continuity of care throughout a woman's pregnancy and childbirth experience, and in particular, highlight the need for the constant presence of a known and trusted caregiver during labor and delivery. Study findings also point to the importance of the health care provider's role in keeping a woman informed throughout the process and allowing her to be a full participant in decisions concerning her care.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 156-166|
|Department(s):||Nursing, School of|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Midwives; Childbirth|
|Medical Subject Heading:||Midwifery; Labor, Obstetric|
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