Unique Normality

This source preferred by Les Todres

Authors: Barker, S.A., Todres, L. and Biley, F.


Start date: 10 June 2011

This was a descriptive phenomenological study of midwives emotional support of women becoming mothers. It used Giorgi’s (1997) Psychological Phenomenology to explore the lifeworld experiences of community midwives.

Downe developed the concept of 'unique normality' related to the birth experience, she wrote it should be seen as “an ordinary drama – not a crisis and not as a routine event, but as a one off exciting event, full of possibility” (Downe 2006: 354). The midwives in this study appeared to be trying to achieve this unique normality for the women for whom they were giving emotional care. They approached the journey as a unique experience for each woman but they also tried to provide the women with a sense that their experiences were normal to reduce expressed or anticipated emotional distress. It was found that midwives came alongside the women and shared their intuition, experiences and themselves as one woman with another woman to normalise the women’s extraordinary unique experiences to facilitate a sense of comfort.

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