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Title: Babies removed at birth : narratives of mothers and midwives
Author: Marsh, Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 3109
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: There is growing evidence that the numbers of babies being removed at birth, here in the UK is increasing and that the presence of domestic violence, drug misuse and mental ill-health are all contributory factors. Evidence is however lacking regarding the mothers experience and the impact of such removal. There also lacks evidence regarding the midwifery profession involvement, practitioners experience and possible strategies of amelioration for women and professional education needs of midwives, for this challenging aspect of contemporary midwifery practice. Methods: Four mothers and eight midwives were recruited to the study. Narrative inquiry incorporating oral and photo-elicitation was used to collect the data, with mothers being interviewed face to face and midwives taking part via focus groups. Pre-existing analytical frameworks did not fit the study ambition and objectives leading to the creation of one to identify patterns, commonalities, as well as the contrasts and relationships across the data. Results: The outcome of the analytical process enabled the reframing of the data to be shared via two composite narratives, one for the mothers and one for the midwives, each presenting the participant’s experiences in a coherent and meaningful way. It also enabled analysis across the mothers’ and midwives’ narratives and the reporting of interconnected themes. Included in the results is emergent consideration of a model of grief for women who have their babies removed at birth. Reflection on midwifery care models and the educational needs and support for midwives. Plus the recognition that mothers whose babies may be removed at birth are vulnerable themselves and currently may have unmet safeguarding needs, which needs addressing. Conclusions: This study has contributed to our collective understanding of mothers’ and midwives’ experience of babies being removed at birth. This narrative understanding provides valuable insight into a topic that has previously received minimal research attention within a changing social landscape, and evidence to guide and inform midwifery practice. This evidence has potential to inform and educate midwives in preparation for and in their continuing professional practice. It also provides a platform for further research and development in three areas. The process of grief for women who have their babies removed and how this may inform further life choices, care needs requires further exploration to enable understanding and guide services and practice. Midwifery models of care that enable midwives to focus on the dyad of mother and baby who are both vulnerable, may have safeguarding needs, rather than privileging one at the detriment of the other. Thirdly the dissemination of the creative analytical process of reviewing verbal and visual data linked to the use of narrative methodology.
Supervisor: Shawe, Jill Sponsor: Centre for Research in Nursing and Midwifery Education
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available