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The relationality of maternity care: A diffractive analysis of maternity care experiences

      Abstract

      Problem

      Pervasive polemics of differing approaches to and values of maternity care limit possibilities of nuanced and productive understandings of how maternity care is experienced.

      Aim

      To explore how maternity care identities (midwife, obstetrician, childbearing woman) are shaped by binarised conceptualisations of childbirth.

      Methods

      The diffractive analysis of data gathered in collective biography research groups.

      Findings and discussion

      Maternity care identities are not complete, pre-established entities, but rather are, ‘in the making’, remade in every maternity care encounter.

      Conclusion

      Maternity care identities are defined by their encounters with other maternity care identities, and therefore, each maternity care identity plays a role in which experiences of maternity care come into being.

      Keywords

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