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Emotional care of women on their journey to motherhood. Dr Sue Barker. Background to study. When starting my PhD I wanted to see if I could use it in some way to improve the care given to pregnant women and new mothers.
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The journey to motherhood is an emotional one for the woman, her family and those caring for her (Mercer 2004, Wilkins 2006).
Her emotional well being can effect her relationships with her partner, family and most significantly her baby (Miller et al. 1993, Lemaitre-Sillere, 1998 McMahon et al 2001, Burke 2003, Drift 2004, Tammentie et al 2004a, Tammentie et al 2004b).
Developed from the philosophical approach of Edmund Husserl by Amedeo Giorgi and labelled descriptive phenomenology (1985).
Husserl’s aim for phenomenology was to achieve a rigorous and unbiased study of things as they appear, so that an essential understanding of human consciousness and experience may be gained.
The goal Holloway and Todres (2003:348) stated for phenomenology was “describe, interpret and understand the meanings of experiences at both a general and unique level”.
Giorgi offers a step by step approach to analysing the lifeworld experiences of a given phenomenon (Giorgi and Giorgi 2003)
Hetty said she needed to listen to the woman, as it was “her body, baby and world” (Hetty 41), so it was important that she listened to the woman’s perceptions. Some of this sentiment appeared to be shared by Diane who said “she didn’t have to listen to everything I was telling her, it was her baby and she knew it in a way that I never do” (Diane 40).
“at the end of that particular visit as I did for all the others I gave her cuddle which drew us close together” (Betty)
“and I was holding her hand I took her hand to offer her some physical attention I said to her do what you want to do” (Gina)
“I suppose that is why it is emotionally draining at times, exhausting, because it is quite a thin line between giving emotional support and relating part of your own life but also keeping a distance” (Fiona).