Article ID: JJAM-2021-0001
The purpose of this study was to identify midwifery practices offered to single mothers during pregnancy by midwives.
Subjects and Methods
The study design followed a qualitative descriptive style. The subjects were five midwives who had been practicing midwifery for over four years at an obstetrics medical institution in Prefecture A. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant separately. Interviews focused on their perspective, the form of support for single mothers, and their collaboration with public health nurses. A continuous comparative analysis was conducted and abstracted into subcategories and categories to generate a core category to identify midwives' practice during pregnancy for single mothers.
The following four categories were extracted as the primary objectives of midwifery practice regarding single mothers: “determine whether the mother can raise the child as a single parent,” “to stay close to the woman who has decided to give birth as a single mother and make assessments focused on child rearing,” “to assess changes in trying to become a mother based on the ongoing involvement,” and “to collaborate with public health nurses in anticipation of the transition to single motherhood and child rearing.” The core category extracted was “to protect the safety of mothers and infants for future child-rearing from the pregnancy period.”
The results indicate that midwives start “determine whether the mother can raise the child as a single parent,” and once determine that they can, “they simultaneously practice staying close to the woman who has decided to give birth as a single mother and make assessments focused on child rearing,” and “assessing changes in trying to become a mother based on the ongoing involvement.” In their service to single mothers, they also aim “to collaborate with public health nurses in anticipation of the transition to single motherhood and child rearing.”
Midwives attempt to understand the background of single mothers and their readiness for pregnancy. They monitor the changes of pregnant woman as they adapt to becoming mothers while providing compassionate and continuous support for them. Furthermore, midwives play a central role in connecting public health nurses and single mothers in the post-natal period.