Developing a reproductive identity: the experiences of pregnant midwives

Journal article


Church, S (2019). Developing a reproductive identity: the experiences of pregnant midwives. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest. 29 (1), pp. 40-45.
AuthorsChurch, S
Abstract

During pregnancy and childbirth, women often ask midwives: ‘Have you got children?’ Reflecting on this question enabled me to think of how mothers view midwives in relation to reproduction. Whilst being ‘with woman’ may be influenced by many factors and is considered to be the cornerstone of the philosophy of professional midwifery care (Bradfield et al 2018), I questioned whether the gender of the midwife was significant to mothers’ expectations of midwives, because midwives work primarily in a female environment where the focus is on the process of reproduction. Furthermore, relationships between women around birth, which have been described as an ‘Emotionally connected and biographically grounded relationship’ (Wilkins 2000:34), became a significant area of interest in relation to the idea of gender identity and midwifery. A detailed exploration of gender is beyond the remit of this paper and will be the focus of a future publication.
Whilst I have previously discussed how midwives use their professional knowledge to negotiate and renegotiate autonomy and agency during pregnancy and childbirth (Church 2014), in this paper I continue to draw on my doctoral research to discuss the influence of midwives’ experiences of pregnancy on their relationships with women. Specifically, I focus on midwives’ experiences of working in practice during pregnancy, as a means of exploring the issue of reproductive identity

Year2019
JournalMIDIRS Midwifery Digest
Journal citation29 (1), pp. 40-45
PublisherMIDIRS
Web address (URL)https://www.midirs.org/our-services/midwifery-digest-subscription/
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Mar 2019
Accepted10 Jan 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86769

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