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Title: Women's perceptions of midlife mothering during perimenopause : the impact on health and well-being through life's transitions
Author: Morgan, Patricia Ann
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2010
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The aim of this research was to understand women's perceptions of their health as they mothered young children while simultaneously transitioning to menopause. This inquiry was inspired by the growing demographics for 'older first-time mothers', which create a unique phenomenon in which the developmental transition to motherhood is followed closely or overlapped by the biological transition to menopause/perimenopause. A gap in knowledge about the unique experiences of first time mothers aged forty and older during perimenopause, invited study. The researcher conducted a hermeneutic, phenomenological interpretation of the lived experiences of the older first-time mothers who participated in this study. This v/as accomplished through two in-depth interviews with thirteen women aged 39-47 when they achieved motherhood, and 45-56 years old at the time of the interviews. Gadamer's (1975/2004b) philosophical underpinnings guided this study, and meaning was mutually negotiated through participative dialogue with the participants and simultaneously with the text. Van Manen's (1990) six methodological themes guided ongoing construction and analysis of data. The findings led to an historical and contextual understanding of women's experiences during this time of overlapping transitions, and four main themes emerged: Achieving First-Time Motherhood at Midlife, Intensive Mothering, Out of Sync, and Perimenopause as a State of Uncertainty. Despite a negative appraisal of perimenopause, an uncertain temporality, projection of the life span, and value of health as precious enabled the women to transform uncertainty into opportunities for health promotion. The findings from this inquiry contribute new knowledge for nurses and other health care providers about the meaning of health and mothering for older first time mothers during perimenopause. Findings from this study which have captured women's experiences enable health care providers to refocus or recalibrate the frameworks and norms traditionally applied to first- time midlife mothers, and improve the care they provide for women during perimenopause.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available