Beyond the clinical dyad: Encountering others “in the same boat” in antenatal group consultations

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Pregnant women, particularly first-time mothers-to-be, often experience anxiety about the forthcoming birth, as well as feelings of vulnerability and loneliness (McLeish & Redshaw, 2017). There is, at the same time, growing understanding of the importance of wellbeing in healthy pregnancies (WHO, 2016), and that professionals can assist with the psychosocial challenges of transitioning to motherhood (Midwives, 2012). In Denmark, midwife-led group antenatal consultations are used to help pregnant women exchange ideas and create social networks (Brot & Poulsen, 2013). Although the learning that occurs in such settings has previously been investigated (Nisbeth Jensen & Fage-Butler, 2016), we know little about their emotional aspects. The aim of this paper is to explore women’s experiences of interpersonal aspects of encountering other pregnant women in antenatal group consultations. Using a phenomenological interpretative methodology (Smith et al., 2009), I analysed 16 semi-structured interviews of women who had experienced antenatal group consultations in Aarhus, Denmark. Findings reflected two overarching themes: the mainly positive emotional impact of encountering others, as concerns were normalised and fears were assuaged; identification with others where the pregnant body and a common approximate due date generated feelings of solidarity. The findings are discussed in relation to the centrality of corporality to human experience (Merleau-Ponty, 2014 [1974]), responsibility for the other (Levinas, 2006), and the I-Thou basis for relationships (Buber, 1984). This study highlights the emotional value of breaking with the clinical dyad for certain patient groups. References Brot, C., & Poulsen, A. (2013). Anbefalinger for Svangreomsorgen [Recommendations for antenatal care] Retrieved from Buber, M. (1984). I and Thou (R. Gregor-Smith, Trans.). New York: Scribner. Levinas, E. (2006). Humanism of the Other. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press. McLeish, J., & Redshaw, M. (2017). Mothers’ accounts of the impact on emotional wellbeing of organised peer support in pregnancy and early parenthood: A qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17(28), 1-14. doi:10.1186/s12884-017-1220-0 Merleau-Ponty, M. (2014 [1974]). Phenomenology of perception (D. A. Landes, Trans.). Abingdon: Routledge. Midwives, R. C. o. (2012). Maternal emotional wellbeing and infant development: A good practice guide for midwives Retrieved from Wellbeing_Guide_WEB.pdf Nisbeth Jensen, M., & Fage-Butler, A. (2016). Antenatal group consultations: Facilitating patient-patient education. Patient Education and Counseling. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.07.032 WHO. (2016). WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience Retrieved from
StatusUdgivet - 2018
BegivenhedCommunication, Medicine, and Ethics (COMET) - Birmingham, Storbritannien
Varighed: 25 jun. 201827 jun. 2018


KonferenceCommunication, Medicine, and Ethics (COMET)

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