Women's Experience of the Abdominal Palpation in Pregnancy: A Glimpse into the Philosophical and Midwifery Literature

David Blee, Jennie Dietsch

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Abstract

This paper describes a literature review which was undertaken following a personal narrative in which the abdominal palpation during pregnancy was experienced. When a midwife touches a woman's abdomen, the woman is both touched, and touches; perhaps for a moment at least, their worlds are intertwined. The aim of this paper is to try to come a little closer to understanding women's experience of the abdominal palpation in pregnancy. The literature reviewed has been drawn from midwifery, philosophy, sociology, and critical feminism and ' with the opening vignette ' one woman's experience of abdominal palpation. It is her story of recounting experience, and un-packing the meaning of that experience, that steers and drives this work.Some work explicitly addressed the experience of touch for the pregnant woman; much of the reviewed work did so only obliquely, by inference, or by chance. This gave the opportunity to divide the literature into three clusters or categories: Touching at a Distance, Touching the Edges and Exploring Touch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the New Zealand College of Midwives
Volume46
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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