Birth in the twilight of certainty

Kay, Lesley (2016) Birth in the twilight of certainty. In: 31st ICM Triennial Congress : Midwives - Making a Difference in the World; 18 - 22 Jun 2017, Toronto, Canada. (Unpublished)


Background: This poster considers one of three overriding themes from my PhD. The study considered how women engage with the 'modern birth story' and grew from a sense that the way we talk about birth must surely impact on our expectation and experience of birth. Purpose/Objective: To consider how engaging with stories of birth influenced expectations and experiences of childbirth for two generations. Birth stories encompassed personal oral stories as well as media representations of contemporary childbirth. Method: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was taken; participants were purposively selected and recruited. In phase one 10 primigravid women were interviewed raising questions about whether information gleaned from media/virtual birth story mediums creates meaningful knowledge. In phase two interviews with 10 women pregnant in the 1970s – 1980s were conducted to determine whether women from a different era were more able to translate knowledge into meaning when stories were mediated by personal contact and not though virtual technologies. Key Findings: Emergent meanings and understandings were unconcealed in three alethia chapters (Heidegger, 1962). 1. 'Stories are difficult like that' 2. 'It's a generational thing' 3. 'Birth in the twilight of certainty' Discussion: ‘Birth in the Twilight of Certainty’ explored women’s experience of being in ‘ the system’ of birth and on the ‘conveyor belt of care’. In this space birth was understood as a ‘technological feat’, a process imbued with potentially disastrous consequences for women and birth. In a risk averse, safety and consumer orientated, and technological 'world of birth', women reported feeling an onus to be seen as both ‘ good patients’ and ‘good parents’; relentlessly seeking out information to manage their anxieties and demonstrate competency. Despite the information and stories at their disposal women were lacking in birthing ‘know how’; having little understanding of physiological birth and lacking belief in their bodies to birth. References: Heidegger, M. (2012). Being and time (J. McQuarrie, E. Robinson Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page