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Title: How do women with a learning disability experience the support of a Doula during their pregnancy, childbirth and after the birth of their child?
Author: McGarry, Alison Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 2471
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: With increasing numbers of people with a learning disability (LD) choosing to become parents (Booth and Booth, 1994) it is important the right support is provided to enable them to parent effectively (Macintyre and Stewart, 2011). Materials and Methods: This study used semi-structured interviews with four women with a LD who received doula support prenatally, during labour and postnatally. The women were interviewed during prenatal and postnatal support periods. The doulas were interviewed about their experience of supporting a woman with a LD towards the end of the postnatal support period. Results: Interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Themes were identified from each of the ten interviews, before analysis of themes for the same support phase were analysed together for mothers and doulas, allowing discussion of similarities and differences. Conclusions: The findings show that prenatally the women considered the doula to be a reliable source of information about pregnancy and birth. Each mother perceived doula support as a means of keeping her child in her care. Postnatally, mothers described a trusting relationship with their doula, which enabled them to make informed choices. Doulas described the need to adapt their work to meet the needs of parents with LD. The experience of working alongside statutory agencies was perceived as potentially challenging, and an important area for supervision.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Clin.Psy.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RA Public aspects of medicine ; RG Gynecology and obstetrics