Phenomenology of the Newborn: Life from Womb to World, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Phenomenology of the Newborn

Life from Womb to World, 1st Edition

By Michael van Manen


128 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138486379
pub: 2018-11-20
SAVE ~$9.59
Hardback: 9781138486362
pub: 2018-11-20
SAVE ~$28.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351045674
pub: 2018-11-21
from $23.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Many children spend their first days, weeks, and sometimes months in a neonatal intensive care unit as a consequence of prematurity, congenital anomalies, or birth complications. Their medical needs are thoughtfully appraised and attended to, yet some questions are rarely asked: What experiences do these newborns have? What experiences are we giving them? How can we and do we understand what their lives are like? What are the interventions and actions of medical care actually like for them?

Michael van Manen explores the experiential life of newborn infants with particular consideration for those newborns who require medical care. Drawing on contemporary research findings from physiology, psychology, biology, and other disciplines, he offers phenomenological insights and raises thought-provoking questions as to how we ought to understand and care for such young children.

In our contemporary world, it is often the experiences of inception, of first contact, with those who seem most distant, foreign, or even alien that we need to try to apprehend and understand. The inceptual lives of newborn infants challenges us to explore those experiences phenomenologically – to investigate the originary meanings of early life experiences. Phenomenology of the Newborn is an essential text for researchers seeking to employ phenomenology for the study of neonatal life and related concerns that may seem inaccessible to other more traditional qualitative and quantitative methods.

Table of Contents



1. Inceptual Questions

2. Within the Womb World

3. The First Cry of the Child

4. The Meaning of Extremely Premature Infant Behavior

5. The Look of Eye Contact

6. Coming to Terms with Distress

7. Suckling and the Being of the Newborn

8. Bringing Phenomenology to Practice


About the Author

Michael van Manen, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Canada. He has a clinical practice as a physician in neonatal-perinatal medicine with the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

About the Series

Phenomenology of Practice

The series Phenomenology of Practice sponsors books that are steeped in phenomenological scholarship and relevant to professional practitioners in fields such as education, nursing, medicine, pedagogy, clinical and counseling psychology. Texts in this series distinguish themselves for offering inceptual and meaningful insights into lived experiences of professional practices, or into the quotidian concerns of everyday living. Texts may reflectively explicate and focus on aspects of method and dimensions of the philosophic and human science underpinnings of phenomenological research.

For further manuscript details available from the Series Editor: please contact Max van Manen at / +250-294 4345

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Nursing / Pediatric & Neonatal