Connecting with women: Independent Midwives perceptions of how they build and maintain rapport within the mother midwife relationship
Connecting with Women: Independent Midwives’ perceptions of how they build and maintain rapport within the mother midwife relationship. This paper discusses findings from a doctoral research study due to be completed in July 2013. This is a hermeneutic phenomenological study, based in the UK, which investigated the lived experience of independent midwives and their perceptions of how they build and maintain rapport within the mother-midwife relationship. Few studies have explored the working lives of independent midwives in the UK, their motivations for practicing independently and their perceptions of what is important to them as midwives in the relationships they construct and sustain with clients. Data was collected from 20 Independent midwives by means of a modified biographical narrative technique (Wengraf 2001) and analysed using thematic analysis and Ricoeur’s theory of interpretation (Ricoeur 1971). Key findings suggest that Independent midwives demonstrate a strong sense of the “with woman “philosophy; this has informed their move from the NHS and into Independent practice where they feel they are better able to enact this. The mother midwife relationship is seen as a pivotal midwifery tool that facilitates the midwife’s understanding of the woman as an individual enabling her to provide more appropriate care, create an environment of trust, facilitating discussion/disclosure of concerns and anxieties. The relationship enables the midwife to understand the world of the woman, takes time to build. It is considered “risky” when there is insufficient time for this, as in the case of a woman booking with an independent midwife late in pregnancy. This study adds to the literature concerning the midwife mother relationship, and debates about communication in health care more generally. The quality of the relationship between midwife and client is particularly salient in independent practice, has implications for midwifery profession and the education of future practitioners. This study provides insight into the working lives of independent midwives at a time of impending change and potential demise.
Citation:Garratt, R.A. (2014) Connecting with women: Independent Midwives perceptions of how they build and maintain rapport within the mother midwife relationship. International Confederation of Midwives 30th Triennial Confference, Prague
Research Group:Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre