Making a difference: the experiences of midwives working with women who use illicit drugs

Miles, Maureen, Chapman, Ysanne and Francis, Karen 2012, Making a difference: the experiences of midwives working with women who use illicit drugs, International journal of childbirth, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 245-254, doi: 10.1891/2156-5287.2.4.245.

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Title Making a difference: the experiences of midwives working with women who use illicit drugs
Author(s) Miles, Maureen
Chapman, Ysanne
Francis, Karen
Journal name International journal of childbirth
Volume number 2
Issue number 4
Start page 245
End page 254
Total pages 10
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2012
ISSN 2156-5287
Keyword(s) midwifery
illicit drugs
hermeneutic phenomenology
Summary AIM: This article describes the experiences of midwives who choose to work with pregnant womenwho use illicit drugs.BACKGROUND: Pregnant women who use illicit drugs present complex challenges for those whochoose to work with them. Society’s views on illicit drug use fluctuate from acceptance and harm minimizationto reprimand and retribution.METHOD: Qualitative interviews were conducted between June and August 2009 with 12 Australianmidwives. A thematic analysis method informed by hermeneutic phenomenology was applied to interpretthis data to explicate lived experiences and gain deeper understanding and meanings of this phenomenon.FINDINGS: Three major themes encapsulated the experience: making a difference, making partnerships,and learning to let go. The focus of this article, “making a difference,” included two subthemes of“working on the margins” and “transition and transformation.” The midwives were both rewarded andchallenged by the needs of women who use illicit drugs and by the systems in which they worked.CONCLUSIONS: The midwives acknowledged that their aspirations “to make a difference” was notalways sufficient when working with women who use illicit drugs. They also require the establishmentof maternity services that are compassionate and accessible, including woman–care provider partnershipsand continuity of the care environments.
Language eng
DOI 10.1891/2156-5287.2.4.245
Field of Research 111006 Midwifery
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, Springer
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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