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Staying Involved “Because the Need Seems So Huge”: Midwives Working With Women Living in Areas of High Deprivation

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The aim of this research was to answer the research question “what is the midwifery care provided by midwives to women living in areas of high deprivation?” It has been identified that rates of stillbirth and neonatal death are significantly higher in women living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas of New Zealand. A potential contributory factor to these rates is the issue of access to, and engagement with, maternity services. Yet, little is known about the care midwives provide to women living in areas of socioeconomic deprivation.

Using grounded theory methodology, a conceptual framework was developed from data analysis of 8 interviews undertaken with midwives between August 2000 and March 2001. Findings revealed a core category of “staying involved 'because the need seems so huge.'” Four further categories were identified: “Forming relationships with the wary,” “Giving 'an awful lot of support,'” “Remaining close by,” and “Ensuring personal coping.” Throughout, the midwives' continued involvement with the woman ensured an optimal pregnancy outcome for both the woman and her new baby.

The findings from this study inform the care provided by midwives who work with women living in areas of high deprivation and begin to address factors regarding access to, and engagement with, maternity services.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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