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“I Managed It Pretty Good”: Birth Narratives of Adolescent Mothers

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Abstract:

The aim of this study was to understand adolescent mothers’ childbirth experiences. Semistructured interviews were conducted with participants recruited from a community-based program for adolescent mothers. Fourteen mothers described their birth experiences. Using a narrative analytic approach, responses were reconstructed into birth stories. Stories, condensed into poetic form, were compared and contrasted. Four unique categories emerged: connected births, surreal births, disconnected births, and disempowered births. Categories differed by agency, support, and emotional tone. Positive support was found in stories that portrayed high agency and positive affect, whereas problematic support was apparent in stories that conveyed passivity, frustration, and disappointment. This study has implications for tailoring childbirth education for adolescent mothers and can inform health-care professionals working with this population.

Keywords: adolescent mothers; narrative analysis; social support

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.23.2.79

Publication date: 2014-01-01

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