Research - Midwifery, Child and Reproductive Health

Recently undertaken research by members of the Midwifery, Child and Reproductive Health department:

Research recently undertaken by Mary Longworth as part of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy   

Fathers’ involvement during labour and birth: An ethnographic study

The aim of this research study was to examine fathers’ involvement during labour and birth. This study utilised an ethnographic approach using observations of, and interviews with, 14 fathers and their partners during labour and birth. The main theme arising from thematic analysis of the data is that fathers adopted a variety of roles during labour and birth from observer through to advocate; however, fathers’ roles were not static, but developed and changed over time in relation to the dynamic nature of the context, and in accordance with the fathers’ and their partners’ own preferences and expectations.

Recently undertaken research by Taniya Roberts in accordance with the requirements of the University of Chester for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Realities from practice: What it means to midwives and student midwives to care for women with BMIs ≥30kg/m2 during the childbirth continuum.

Women with BMIs ≥30kg/m2 have now become the ‘norm’ in maternity practice due to the recent obesity epidemic. This study provided original research on what it means to midwives and student midwives on the point of qualification to care for this client group throughout the childbirth continuum. 

The theoretical basis for the study was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), developed by Smith et al. (Smith, Flowers, and Larkin, 2009) and as yet a relatively new research methodology in midwifery research. Sixteen midwives were recruited from four hospital trusts in the North of England, along with eight student midwives from a university in the North of England who had experiences of five hospital trust settings. Purposive sampling was utilised. Data collection was conducted via one-to-one low-structured interviews and data analysis was performed following the principles of IPA.

Rich data emerged from the interviews. The findings from the midwives were encapsulated in five super-ordinate themes: Negative Impact, Catch 22, Size Matters, That Sinking Feeling, and Caring Against All Odds. The student midwives also generated five super-ordinate themes: Prepared to Care, Size Matters, Communication Truths, Normalising the Risk, and Mind the Gap. These findings demonstrate the similarities and differences between the two groups of participants as to what it means to care for these clients, and places them within midwifery practice and educational contexts. Original findings were derived from both the midwives and student midwives on what it means to care for this high risk group of women during antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.