“They’ll be judging us”: A qualitative study of pregnant women’s experience of being offered participation in a supportive intervention

Sara Pihl Jakobsen, Charlotte Overgaard

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

4 Citationer (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)

Abstrakt

Objective: to explore pregnant women's experience of being offered participation in a supportive intervention and how their experience influenced the outcome of the intervention. Design and setting: a qualitative, phenomenological hermeneutic study based on semi-structured interviews with eight Danish first-time mothers. Findings: the study revealed a divergence between the professional's and the women's perception of their vulnerability. The women typically felt the offer of participation as a stigma, which they met with anxiety and confusion. Insufficient information led to uncertainty and a feeling of being evaluated as inadequate mothers or parents. The information offered failed to provide the basis of informed choice. However, the development of a trusting, supportive and non-judgemental relationship with the health professionals ensured most women a positive outcome of the intervention. Key conclusion: being invited to participate in an intervention targeting vulnerable women may induce unintended feelings in relation to stigmatization and judgement, leading to doubt about own ability to cope with motherhood. Inadequate information and explication about aims and contents of the intervention are likely to cause confusion and anxiety and a feeling of being judged as parents. Information combined with establishing a trusting and non-judgemental relationship between women and professionals appears to have significant impact on outcomes. Implications for practice: care providers should be aware of the induced negative feelings and sense of judgement and stigmatization as a result of being categorized as vulnerable and perceived in need of help to cope with motherhood, and that they may play a key role in helping women cope with this. Furthermore, detailed information about the intervention and the background of the offer should be ensured as well as an informed choice of participation.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMidwifery
Vol/bind61
Sider (fra-til)81-87
Antal sider7
ISSN0266-6138
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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