An ethnographic exploration of womens midwives and obstetricians beliefs about maternal movement during labour

JERVIS, BK 2019, An ethnographic exploration of womens midwives and obstetricians beliefs about maternal movement during labour , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The aim of this project was to identify how cultural differences influence maternity care and knowledge acquisition about movement in labour. A Focused Ethnographic (FE) approach was used. FE is a research method employed to investigate cultural dimensions of specific aspects of contemporary society, an approach different in scale and intensity to conventional ethnography (Knoblauch, 2005). The data were collected from one to one interviews, one group interview and field observations. Data were collected from three groups of participants: 9 women, 10 midwives and 6 obstetricians. The data gathered from the three groups were analysed by thematic analysis to develop an in depth understanding of ideological and cultural differences that influence maternity care and knowledge acquisition about maternal movement in labour. Feminist thought informed the project, acknowledging women and midwives as knowers of equal standing within maternity care services. The main findings showed a binary in cultures of maternity care provision. Where the basic underlying assumptions of a culture are love, compassion and empathy, then relationship-based care and women’s empowerment are espoused and valued. This leads to openly shared knowledge and learning around movement in labour. Where the basic underlying assumptions of a culture are lack of empathy, dignity and choice, rigid boundaries are set, medical practice maintains control and dichotomies in care provision around movement are prevalent. However, these binaries are fluid and nuanced and are not static to an area or individual. Barriers and facilitators to implementing care that supports maternal movement are presented. This requires a shift in the way that birth is presented and learned about in obstetric practice and wider society. This will require leadership, valuing women and midwives and the knowledge they share, and a collaborative approach to birth involving women, midwives and obstetricians.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Smith, GW (Supervisor) and Rayner, GC (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: BK JERVIS
Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 08:30
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2020 02:30
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/56846

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