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Being a homebirth midwife in the Nordic countries – a phenomenological study

Journal article
Authors Ingela Sjöblom
Ingela Lundgren
Ewa Idvall
Helena Lindgren
Published in Sexual & Reproductive HealthCare
Volume 2015
Issue 6
Pages 126-131
ISSN 1877-5756
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 126-131
Language en
Keywords midwife, home birth, relationship, art of midwifery, altruisn
Subject categories Nursing, Other Medical Sciences


Objective: To describe the lived experience of being a homebirth midwife in the Nordic countries. Methods: Interviews conducted with 21 homebirth midwives from the five Nordic countries were analyzed with a phenomenological approach. Results: The essential structure of being a homebirth midwife in the Nordic countries can be understood as realizing altruistic values and fulfilling one’s own desires for working life, by facilitating the desires of the women giving birth. By being “active-passive” – using all her senses and letting her intuition lead her – the midwife supports women during labor and birth. Medical skills, evidence-based knowledge and experience are important for providing the optimal care in each situation. Further this becomes the midwife’s chosen lifestyle, which alters her own self, making her available to assist the mother-to-be in fulfilling her wishes for a good birth. Finally, being able to use one’s own full potential during a home birth is experienced as the ideal way of working as a midwife, practicing the art of midwifery. Conclusion: The experience of being a homebirth midwife in the Nordic countries includes making an adaption to a lifestyle that is considered the basis for a satisfactory and rewarding way of working. A sense of fulfillment is achieved through experiencing the possibility to work according to one’s own ideals concerning the art of midwifery. The beliefs about a woman’s ability to give birth and understanding the importance of a positive birth for both the mother and the newborn baby are essential.

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