Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Childbirth as a profound experience: Exploring narrative and image of experiences during birth
by Schwartz, Jennifer A., Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2014, 150; 3680271
Abstract (Summary)

This study is an exploration into the profound, life-altering experiences that a small sampling of mothers had while giving birth. The primary question addressed is "What is the nature of experiences that can occur for the mother during childbirth?" A group of 15 mothers in the United States was asked to share the experiences they had during childbirth, highlighting those elements that they define as profound, spiritual, transformational, and/or empowering.

The research was conducted as a narrative and visual arts inquiry, using an initial survey, semi-structured interviews, and an art creation process to produce visual expressions of experiences. Also included is an autobiographical element created from the researcher's experiences of childbirth. While the individual experiences varied, the stories revealed eight general themes that are explored using elements of the narratives and a coding of the art images, resulting in several trends. Through narrative and art, the individual experiences of the mothers are shared, emergent themes are analyzed, and a larger picture of profound childbirth experiences is shown. The nature of profound experiences during birth is highlighted in this study, as are the universal elements of birth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carter, Susan G.
Commitee: Davis-Floyd, Robbie, Razak, Arisika
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Medicine, Womens studies, Clinical psychology, Experimental psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Art, Childbirth, Empowerment, Personal transformation, Profound experience, Third-wave feminism
Publication Number: 3680271
ISBN: 978-1-321-52170-2
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