Case-loading midwifery in New Zealand: bridging the normal/abnormal divide `with woman'

Deborah Davis, Kim Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives

to explore the way that case-loading midwives in New Zealand construct midwifery (and in so doing, the concepts of woman and childbirth). This paper illuminates the fundamental features of this construction (continuity and woman-centred care) and discusses this with regard to the role of midwives vis-à-vis normal/abnormal birth.

Design

semi-structured interviews and official publications constituted the ‘text’ which was analysed using a poststructural approach that was informed by theorists Foucault, Grosz and Braidotti.

Participants and setting

48 case-loading midwives practising throughout New Zealand participated in this study. These included facility-employed and self-employed midwives and those from rural and urban settings.

Findings

many midwives follow women through their maternity experience providing continuity of care regardless of whether the experience is considered ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’.

Key conclusions

continuity and woman-centred care are fundamental features of the construction of midwifery in New Zealand.

Implications for practice

a focus on the midwifery concept of ‘with woman’ can bridge the divide between the polarising concepts ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ and enable a more fluid and dynamic reading of midwifery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalMidwifery
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Case-loading midwifery in New Zealand: bridging the normal/abnormal divide `with woman''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this