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Title: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of midwives' experiences of promoting normal birth in an Alongside Midwife Unit in the United Kingdom
Author: Dennis, Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 2020
Awarding Body: University of Cardiff
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2019
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The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of midwives promoting normal birth in an Alongside Midwife Unit (AMU) in the United Kingdom (UK). It aimed to develop a contemporary understanding of those experiences and reveal how the midwives perceived their role in the promotion of normal birth. It also sought to identify any challenges they may have encountered when promoting normal birth. The subjects of normal birth and its promotion have for many years generated much interest and debate both in professional and in public arenas. The publication of the findings of the Morecambe Bay investigation in 2015, however, heralded a new era in this debate. The findings suggested that a group of midwives practising in the Barrow in Furness General Hospital pursued normal birth with a zeal that, at times, may have resulted in inappropriate and unsafe care. Additionally, there is much discussion and debate in the literature about the promotion of normal birth with emphasis being placed on the possible benefits of maximising the potential for physiological birth for most women. The Better Births initiative launched by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) also has normal birth promotion for the majority of women and the normalisation of birth for all women as its central themes. Increased understanding of the lived experiences of midwives promoting normal birth today will add to the body of evidence which explores the implementation of this agenda. This thesis employed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore the experiences of nine midwives promoting normal birth in a UK AMU. Data were collected through face to face interviews conducted over a four-month period. Data were initially analysed idiographically, followed by group level analysis. Further interpretation was developed using the tenets of symbolic interactionism as a theoretical framework and the synthesis of the data with the wider literature. The findings revealed that the experiences of the midwives promoting normal birth were strongly influenced by reciprocation between the mother and the midwife. The nature of the reciprocation in the mother-midwife dyad manifested itself as 'the bond' that formed between them. This bond appeared to consist of and be strengthened by elements of both physical and emotional reciprocity and connectivity, connectivity that has been identified as the ubiquitous we.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.A.H.P.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available