'Me and my bump': an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experiences of pregnancy for vulnerable women

Birtwell, B., Hammond, L. and Puckering, C. (2013) 'Me and my bump': an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experiences of pregnancy for vulnerable women. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. ISSN 1359-1045.


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Eight pregnant women, considered to be ‘vulnerable’ due to exposure to a number of underlying risk factors, participated in semi-structured interviews regarding their experiences of pregnancy and of Mellow Bumps, a 6-week targeted antenatal intervention. Interview transcripts were explored using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The analysis revealed five superordinate themes: pregnancy as a time of reflection; the body being taken over; pregnancy as an emotional rollercoaster; relationships as important; separating identities. Pre- and post-natal attachment theories were found to be useful in interpreting the data. Findings suggest that pregnancy may be ‘normalising’ and provide an important opportunity for building more positive representations of the self. Findings also provide clinical support for the assertion that the attachment relationship begins before birth. The Mellow Bumps intervention was uniformly seen as helpful. It appeared to nurture prenatal attachment relationships, playing a potentially protective role, by helping to establish the foundations for secure mother–infant relationships in the future. Meeting similar women and engaging in ordinary, supportive conversation during Mellow Bumps seemed to reduce feelings of isolation and stigma. Implications for clinical practice are considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0712 Developmental psychology > BF0721 Child psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ0755.7 Parents. Parenthood > HQ0759 Motherhood
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics > RG0551 Pregnancy
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Ms Linda Hammond
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2013 13:48
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2016 13:41
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/11929

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00