Objective: To describe lesbians’ personal and health care experiences of becoming pregnant, giving birth, and being mothers and comothers within the context of potentially oppressive family, social, and political structures. Design: Critical ethnography. Setting: Participants’ homes, lesbian mother support group, and prenatal clinics and hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. Participants: English‐speaking self‐identified lesbian women, including 21 interview and six focus‐group participants and approximately 43 observed in a support group. Data Collection: In‐depth open‐ended interviews, focus group, and participant observation. Data Analysis: Content/categorical analysis followed by discussion of the mother’s stories and a critical conversation about lesbian mothering. Results: The seven organizing themes are as follows: preparing the way: becoming ready; conception: you can’t just fall into it; you can hear a heartbeat: pregnancy; birthing our babies; the work of mothers and mothers who work; families who sustain and families who oppose; and sources of support in everyday life. The first four are described in this article. Conclusions: Health care providers, policy makers, and the public can be better informed about the specific needs of childbearing lesbians. JOGNN, 36, 190‐199; 2007. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552‐6909.2007.00136.x
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2007
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