‘Being with’ while retaining and asserting professional midwifery power and authority in home birth.

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/323769
Title:
‘Being with’ while retaining and asserting professional midwifery power and authority in home birth.
Authors:
O Boyle, Colm
Citation:
O'Boyle C. ‘Being with’ while retaining and asserting professional midwifery power and authority in home birth. J Org Ethnog. 2014 3(2)
Publisher:
Journal of Organizational Ethnography
Journal:
Journal of Organizational Ethnography
Issue Date:
2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/323769
Additional Links:
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17115470&show=abstract
Item Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
Purpose - To describe what it is like to be a midwife in the professionally isolated and marginalised arena of home birth in Ireland. To explore whether the organisation of home birth services and professional discourse might be undermining the autonomy of home birth midwives. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is drawn from auto-ethnographic field work, with 18 of the 21 self employed community midwives offering home birth support to women in Ireland from 2006 to 2009. The data presented is derived from field notes of participant observations and from interviews digitally recorded in the field. Findings - Home birth midwives must navigate isolated professional practice and negotiate when and how to interface with mainstream hospital services. The midwives talk of the dilemma of competing discourses about birth. Decisions to transfer to hospital in labour is fraught with concerns about the woman’s and the midwife’s autonomy. Hospital transfers crystallise midwives’ sense of professional vulnerability. Practical implications - Maternity services organisation in Ireland commits virtually no resources to community midwifery. Home birth is almost entirely dependent upon a small number of self employed community midwives. Although there is a ‘national home birth service’, it is not universally and equitably available, even to those deemed eligible. Furthermore, restrictions to the professional indemnification of home birth midwives, effectively criminalises midwives who would attend certain women. Home birth, already a marginal practice, is at real risk of becoming regulated out of existence. Originality/value - This paper brings new insight into the experiences of midwives practicing at the contested boundaries of contemporary maternity services. It reveals the inappropriateness of a narrowly professional paradigm for midwifery. Disciplinary control of individuals by professions may countermand claimed ‘service’ ideologies.
Keywords:
MIDWIFE; CHILDBIRTH

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorO Boyle, Colmen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-24T14:11:32Z-
dc.date.available2014-07-24T14:11:32Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationO'Boyle C. ‘Being with’ while retaining and asserting professional midwifery power and authority in home birth. J Org Ethnog. 2014 3(2)en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/323769-
dc.descriptionPurpose - To describe what it is like to be a midwife in the professionally isolated and marginalised arena of home birth in Ireland. To explore whether the organisation of home birth services and professional discourse might be undermining the autonomy of home birth midwives. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is drawn from auto-ethnographic field work, with 18 of the 21 self employed community midwives offering home birth support to women in Ireland from 2006 to 2009. The data presented is derived from field notes of participant observations and from interviews digitally recorded in the field. Findings - Home birth midwives must navigate isolated professional practice and negotiate when and how to interface with mainstream hospital services. The midwives talk of the dilemma of competing discourses about birth. Decisions to transfer to hospital in labour is fraught with concerns about the woman’s and the midwife’s autonomy. Hospital transfers crystallise midwives’ sense of professional vulnerability. Practical implications - Maternity services organisation in Ireland commits virtually no resources to community midwifery. Home birth is almost entirely dependent upon a small number of self employed community midwives. Although there is a ‘national home birth service’, it is not universally and equitably available, even to those deemed eligible. Furthermore, restrictions to the professional indemnification of home birth midwives, effectively criminalises midwives who would attend certain women. Home birth, already a marginal practice, is at real risk of becoming regulated out of existence. Originality/value - This paper brings new insight into the experiences of midwives practicing at the contested boundaries of contemporary maternity services. It reveals the inappropriateness of a narrowly professional paradigm for midwifery. Disciplinary control of individuals by professions may countermand claimed ‘service’ ideologies.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherJournal of Organizational Ethnographyen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17115470&show=abstracten_GB
dc.subjectMIDWIFEen_GB
dc.subjectCHILDBIRTHen_GB
dc.title‘Being with’ while retaining and asserting professional midwifery power and authority in home birth.en_GB
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalJournal of Organizational Ethnographyen_GB
All Items in Lenus, The Irish Health Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.