Spirituality and Childbirth: Meaning and Care at the Start of Life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Spirituality and Childbirth

Meaning and Care at the Start of Life, 1st Edition

Edited by Susan Crowther, Jenny Hall

Routledge

204 pages

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Description

Highlighting aspects of birth often taken for granted, ignored or left silenced, this book questions the art and meaning of childbirth. Addressing spirituality in and around the start of life from a variety of thought-provoking perspectives, it examines the apparent paradox of impersonal biomedical-technocratic systems operating alongside the meaningful experiences encountered by those involved. Themes covered include:

  • Notions of holism and spirituality, culture, religion and spirituality
  • Childbirth significance at societal level
  • Spiritual care in maternity care provision
  • Birth environment, mood, space and place
  • Spiritual experience of all those involved, including health professionals
  • Spiritual experience when birth is complex and challenging
  • When birth and death are juxtaposed.

Although there is considerable literature on spirituality at the end of life, this is the only book that draws together a global and multidisciplinary selection of academic researchers and practitioners to reflect on spirituality at the start of life. Each chapter explores the relevant theoretical background and makes links to practice, using case studies from research and practice. The chapters conclude by discussing: how spiritual care is, and should be, provided in this context; what practice approaches are beneficial; cross-cultural perspectives; and future directions for research. It is an important read for all those interested in childbirth, maternity care, social science perspectives on health and illness, and spirituality.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables

Notes on contributors

Foreword

Acknowledgements

Part I: Setting the context 

Chapter 1: Introduction Susan Crowther and Jenny Hall

Chapter 2: Childbirth as a sacred celebration Susan Crowther

Chapter 3: Ritual and art in a philosophy of birth Anna Hennessey

Part II: Spirituality and the childbirth year

Chapter 4: Pregnancy and the unborn child Jenny Hall

Chapter 5: Spiritual questions during childbearing Ingela Lundgren

Chapter 6: Pregnancy loss and complexity Joan Gabrielle Lalor

Chapter 7: Holding sacred space in labour and birth Céline Lemay and Carolyn Hastie

Chapter 8: Couples’ spiritual experiences at birth Jenny Parratt

Chapter 9: Spiritual obstetrics Alison Barratt

Chapter 10: Growth and renewal through traumatic birth Gill Thomson

Chapter 11: Spirituality when a newborn is unwell Sílvia Caldeira

Chapter 12: Parenthood and spirituality José Miguel de Angulo and Luz Stella Losada

Part III: Pulling the threads together

Chapter 13: Conclusion: ‘there is something going on at birth!’Jenny Hall and Susan Crowther

Index

About the Editors

Susan Crowther is Professor of Midwifery at Robert Gordon University, UK.

Jenny Hall is Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Bournemouth University, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MED058120
MEDICAL / Nursing / Maternity, Perinatal, Women's Health
SOC057000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues