Midwives’ Emotional Care of Women becoming Mothers
This book offers an overview of the emotional care given by midwives to women based on the literature reviews and research undertaken by Sue Barker. Its chapters are mostly based around the questions she asked herself when exploring the area: What is motherhood? Who supports women at this time? What is emotional care? What are the experiences of midwives offering emotional care? What is emotion work? How does emotional care help women? She considers a wide range of literature sources to understand what is happening for the midwives and the women. Given the extensive use of referenced work the book should be useful for those thinking of undertaking a midwifery programme or those already engaged on any health care programmes. This book, though, is written with an easily accessible language so should be a useful source for voluntary groups and women on their journey to motherhood.
Midwifery care and motherhood are influenced by the culture within which they are experienced. This book has therefore considered the cultural hegemony and the differing ideologies within midwifery. The research was undertaken in the UK where most women receive midwifery care through the NHS therefore the midwives interviewed were all employed by the state. This may well have influenced their expectations and the women’s expectations of them. It may be that independent midwives would not have experienced some of the dilemmas faced by these midwives. Despite this the view of midwifery professional bodies, government guidance and research all support a ‘with woman’ approach to giving emotional support.
This book offers a detailed description of how emotional support as part of emotional care is given by midwives in their attempts to reduce or ameliorate emotional distress and provide comfort.
Sue Barker (RMN, BSc, MSc, PG Dip (Prof. Dev.), PhD, CPsychol) is employed by Bournemouth University as a Senior Lecturer and has an honorary contract with Dorset Healthcare University Foundation NHS Trust. She is registered with the Nursing Midwifery Council as a Mental Health Nurse and is a Chartered Psychologist through the British Psychological Society. Sue has been a mental health nurse since 1983 and has studied psychology since 1989 to support her work with people who experience mental health problems and is particularly interested in maternal mental health.
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