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Navigating midwifery solidarity: A feminist participatory action research framework

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-8552-7412
    Kate Buchanan
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Footnotes
    1 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-8552-7412
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup 6027 WA, Australia

    The University of Notre Dame Australia, 19 Mouat Street, Fremantle 6959, WA, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    2 Orcid ID: 0000-0001-9080-769X
    Elizabeth Newnham
    Footnotes
    2 Orcid ID: 0000-0001-9080-769X
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, University Dve, 2308 NSW, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 Orcid ID: 0000-0001-6920-6013
    Sadie Geraghty
    Footnotes
    3 Orcid ID: 0000-0001-6920-6013
    Affiliations
    The University of Notre Dame Australia, 19 Mouat Street, Fremantle 6959, WA, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    4 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-6395-0279
    Lisa Whitehead
    Footnotes
    4 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-6395-0279
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup 6027 WA, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-8552-7412
    2 Orcid ID: 0000-0001-9080-769X
    3 Orcid ID: 0000-0001-6920-6013
    4 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-6395-0279

      Abstract

      Background

      A core aspect of midwifery philosophy is the optimisation of normal physiology; however, this has been challenged as a radical idea in the medicalisation of birth. Research has demonstrated the benefits of midwifery in improving outcomes for both mothers and babies. The understanding of midwifery benefits fails to reach wider sociocultural contexts as births becomes more medicalised. Midwifery research requires an action arm, to help translate theory to practice and mobilise midwives in solidarity with women towards action and change.

      Aim

      The aim of this article is to describe a Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) by establishing the philosophical underpinnings, theory and methodology with an exemplar.

      Methods

      FPAR has two distinct yet intertwined parts, a research arm and an action arm. The study was conducted using FPAR, and collaboration with nine women, who led transformative action within their community. The exemplar details the use of the FPAR framework.

      Findings

      A FPAR framework was developed through this research to guide researchers aiming to use the FPAR design. The framework details four steps: 1. Create, 2. Collaborate, 3. Consider, and 4. Change. The iterative FPAR cycles were shown in this study to centre women in the research and guide the community research group towards transformative action.

      Conclusion

      FPAR is shown in this project to assist midwifery researchers to realise solidarity and provides support for other midwifery researchers in applying feminist theory and participatory methodologies to bring about transformation within their research.

      Keywords

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