Birth Experience through an Existential Lens

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


Background: The moment of birth is seen as a miracle, a journey and even a religious act. Research stress how giving birth might facilitate interference with previous conceptions of how to make meaning of life existentially.
However, birth as an existential life transformative event, has been explored only briefly in empirical research.
The aim of this study was two-fold: Firstly, to explore how first-time mothers experienced their first birth in relation to existential meaning-making. Secondly, to describe the relationship between considerations related to existential meaning-making and time of birth.
Method: The study was based on a nationwide questionnaire, conducted among Danish first time mothers, who had given birth either preterm or full-term (n=517). The questionnaire consisted of 46 overall items. Eight core items
were analysed in this study. Findings Preliminary findings show that new mothers to a high degree consented to items like “Giving birth extended the boundaries of what I thought I was able to do physically”. Answers were less
affirmative related to items like “Giving birth pushed me to the limits of my life”. We found mothers, who had given birth at full term, to more strongly affirm to most items, than mothers who had given birth preterm.
Publikationsdato21 aug. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 21 aug. 2017