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Title: Midwives' experiences of personal pregnanacy related loss
Author: Bewley, Chris
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2005
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The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of midwives who were having problems with any aspect of reproduction, and relate this to their approach and attitude to their work with pregnant and childbearing women, and to their colleagues. The study used a grounded theory approach. Data were obtained from written narrative accounts from 40 participants and from 10 follow up, in-depths, semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using a constant comparative technique producing categories and the core category of the thesis. The findings suggested that pregnancy related losses, including infertility, miscarriage, termination of pregnancy, stillbirth and neonatal death, influenced the participants' personal and professional relationships. In common with nonmidwives in similar situations, some midwives found it difficult being with pregnant women or babies, although most differentiated between longing for their own baby, and envy of any other baby. Some found difficulty working in particular areas, for example labour ward, although there seemed to be no link between the type of loss, and problematic areas. Most participants spoke of their love for midwifery, and their determination to continue despite difficulties. At work, participants valued practical and emotional support. Some participants suggested that their experiences had increased their practical knowledge and understanding. Some had improved support systems for clients and for colleagues. Many participants mentioned the therapeutic value of involvement in the study. The implications of the study were that the midwives could not avoid evidence of others' fertility in their work. How they addressed this influenced their approach to work, and some recommendations are made, based on the findings. These relate to potentially supportive management and teaching strategies, and to further research and awareness raising which might help midwives and others in similar occupations following personal experience of pregnancy related loss.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available