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Powerless responsibility: A feminist study of women's experiences of caring for their late preterm babies.

Cescutti-Butler, L., Hewitt-Taylor, J. and Hemingway, A., 2020. Powerless responsibility: A feminist study of women's experiences of caring for their late preterm babies. Women and Birth, 33 (4), e400-e408.

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Powerless responsibility_accepted 2019.pdf - Accepted Version
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DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2019.08.006


PROBLEM: There is minimal research exploring women's experiences of caring for a late preterm baby. The emphasis in the literature is mostly baby centric. BACKGROUND: The number of babies born late preterm is rising and women's views are largely unknown. AIM: What are the experiences of women who are caring for a late preterm baby? METHODS: A feminist lens was the key philosophical underpinning. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 14 women. FINDINGS: Women who become mothers' of late preterm babies have a complex journey. It begins with separation, with babies being cared for in unfamiliar and highly technical environments where the perceived experts are healthcare professionals. Women's needs are side-lined, and they are required to care for their babies within parameters determined by others. Institutional and professional barriers to mothering/caring are numerous. DISCUSSION: Some of the women who were separated from their babies immediately after birth had difficulties conceiving themselves as mothers, and others faced restrictions when trying to access their babies. Women described care that was centred on their babies. They were allowed and expected to care for their babies, but only with 'powerless responsibility'. Many women appeared to be excluded from decisions and were not always provided with full information about their babies. CONCLUSION: Women whose babies are born late preterm would benefit from greater consideration in relation to their needs, rather than the focus being almost exclusively on their babies.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Feminism ; Late preterm ; Mothering ; Powerless responsibility ; Scientific mothering ; Women’s experiences
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:32913
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:15 Oct 2019 15:32
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:18


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