'You've got it within you': The political act of keeping a wellness focus in the antenatal time

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Journal Article
Midwifery, 2014, 30 (4), pp. 420 - 426
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Objective: by exploring midwives' communication techniques intended to promote a wellness focus in the antenatal period, this study identified strategies midwives use to amplify women's own resources and capacities, with the aim of reducing antenatal anxiety. Design: a qualitative design utilising focus groups as a means of generating data. Setting: two Australian cities: Canberra, ACT and Sydney NSW. Participants: 14 experienced, practising midwives across two states/territories, employed in multiple hospitals and community settings. Findings: three themes emerged from the analysis: calm unhurriedness, speaking in wellness and reassuring bodies. Midwives in these focus groups used strategies in antenatal care that could be co-ordinated into a planned process for wellness focussed care. Key conclusions: individually midwives used a variety of strategies specifically intended to facilitate women's capabilities, to employ worry usefully and to reduce anxiety. Midwives in the study clearly viewed this kind of wellness focussed care as their responsibility and their right. Implications for practice: the midwives' collective wisdom could be shared and developed further into an overall salutogenic antenatal strategy to be used for the good of pregnant women and their infants. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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