Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Fletcher, Antoinette;Murphy, Margaret;Leahy-Warren, Patricia
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Midwives' experiences of caring for women's emotional and mental well-being during pregnancy
Optional Fields
Ireland Midwives Emotional well-being Mental health Pregnancy Qualitative Women
To explore midwives' experiences of caring for women's emotional and mental well-being during pregnancy. Pregnancy and childbirth is one of the most life changing transitions a woman can encounter and therefore approximately 15-25% of women will experience a perinatal mental health problem. Providing psychological support to mothers by midwives is acknowledged internationally. The 2016 Irish National Maternity Strategy identifies midwives as being ideally placed to assess women's emotional needs. The research revealed a paucity of qualitative research from an Irish context in this area, therefore this study addressed this gap in the literature. Qualitative descriptive design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 10 midwives' recruited from the Irish midwifery e-group. Data were analysed using Burnard (1991) thematic content analysis. Transcripts were coded, and meanings were formulated to reflect significant statements, which were categorised. Categories then evolved into subthemes and eventually three themes emerged using the COREQ checklist. Three salient themes emerged from the data: 'awareness of Perinatal Mental Health', 'discussing emotional well-being', and 'the woman has something to divulge'. The themes convey the midwife's awareness, recognition and perceptions of mental well-being during pregnancy. How midwives discuss and assess emotional well-being, the observational skills they utilise, and what they perceive as the barriers and facilitators to discussing mental well-being were all identified. Midwives reported an awareness and acceptance that women's emotional health was as important as their physical health. Midwives utilised every antenatal opportunity to raise awareness about perinatal mental health, whilst also identifying key challenges in getting women to talk. Care pathways for assessing and identifying Perinatal Mental Health issues should be available in all maternity services. More support for midwives is required to debrief, which would assist them in supporting women's emotional well-being.
Grant Details