Neither father nor biological mother. A qualitative study about lesbian co-mothers' maternity care experiences

Bente Dahl, Kirsti Malterud

    22 Citationer (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVE: To explore lesbian co-mothers' maternity care experiences and their implications for the caring encounter.

    METHODS: A qualitative interview study with data from a convenience sample of eleven Norwegian comothers was conducted. Systematic text condensation was used for data analysis.

    RESULTS: Analysis showed that ordinary tokens of recognition created feelings of being included, while lesbian self-confidence played a major role in awkward encounters. Being neither father nor biological mother sometimes challenged parental identity. Being women helped co-mothers understand what their partners went through but they had to find other ways of mothering than if they had given birth themselves. Co-mothers addressed themselves with different terms and perceived some concepts as unnatural or excluding. Parental identity was defined by their relationship to baby, and the term "co-mother" was perceived as a bureaucratic concept.

    CONCLUSION: For lesbian co-mothers, being recognized in maternity care implies that they are valued for the qualities that separate them from other user groups on a personal level. On a societal level, being recognized is related to acknowledgement of inventive ways of doing family. Everyday signs of recognition may prevent moral violation, and by paying particular attention to use of language, staff can help co-mothers feel acknowledged.

    TidsskriftSexual & reproductive healthcare : official journal of the Swedish Association of Midwives
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)169-73
    Antal sider5
    StatusUdgivet - okt. 2015


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