An exploration of the maternity experiences of wāhine Māori in their encounters with midwife Lead Maternity Carers
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Citation:Burne-Vaughn, K. (2022). An exploration of the maternity experiences of wāhine Māori in their encounters with midwife Lead Maternity Carers. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Midwifery). Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.5854
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5854
The purpose of this research was to explore the maternity experiences of Māori women to understand the optimal conditions needed to provide women-centred relationships with midwife Lead Maternity Carers (LMC). The research focussed on the pregnancies, birth and motherhood experiences of Māori women and their relationships with LMC midwives.This research used kaupapa Māori theory and mana wāhine theory to explore the pūrākau (stories) of Māori women and their midwifery care to answer the research question “What are the maternity experiences of wāhine Māori in their encounters with Lead Maternity Care (LMC) midwives?” The purpose of this research project was to move beyond the deficit-focussed research of Māori women that is prevalent in the literature. Ten wāhine Māori mothers participated in this research project: five first-time mothers and five mothers who had previously given birth to one or more babies. The age of the participants at the time of the study ranged from 21–38 years old. Online digital platforms replaced the planned kanohi kitea interviews and group wānanga (meeting or gathering) during COVID-19 level four restrictions. Thematic analysis was used to explore the pūrākau to reveal two main themes of whakamana wāhine (empowerment), whakawhānaungatanga (connections). Six subthemes were also identified tino rangatiratanga (self-determination), mana motuhake (autonomy), mātauranga Māori (knowledge), whanau (family), wawata (navigating relationships and wairua (spirituality). Wāhine Māori shared their stories of resilience and determination, their trust in their whānau and whakapapa, and spoke of how mātauranga Māori (knowledge) was critical to their care. LMC midwives were valued most highly when they provided support and encouragement for wāhine and their whānau to be self-determining and autonomous. This study contributes to the growing research being prompted by calls for improvements in midwifery education and practice. Furthermore, decolonising maternity spaces through revitalisation of pūrākau and reclamation of mātauranga Māori will influence change as seen from the perspective of wāhine Māori and their whānau.
Keywords:Aotearoa, New Zealand, Māori women, maternity services, Lead Maternity Carer (LMC), pregnancy, Māori knowledge systems, patient experiences, women
ANZSRC Field of Research:451010 Ngā kaiwhakawhānau me te mātai mate tamariki o te Māori (Māori midwifery and paediatrics), 420401 Clinical midwifery, 420402 Models of care and place of birth
Degree:Master of Midwifery, Otago Polytechnic
Supervisors:Miller, Suzanne; Thompson, Tricia
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