New mothers creating their well-being: a hermeneutic study

by Rose Cole

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Degree: Master of Nursing
Year: 0
Keywords: postpartum depression; new mothers; maternal welfare; infant welfare; motherhood; mothers
Record ID: 1073284
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/279


This hermeneutic study explores the experience of well-being of eight new mothers who live in the Blue Mountains of N.S.W. The experiences were analysed to illuminate definitions, meanings and practices which create their well being. This study transcends existing notions of health and motherhood. The author argues that mothers resist the social expectations created by the 'ideology of motherhood' by; defining their well-being, redefining and resisting the notion of being the 'good mother' by creating practices to achieve their well-being. Social support is integral to this. The study is grounded in hermeneutics incorporating the Heideggerian ideas of being-in-the-world, co-constitution and the hermeneutic circle and also the Gadamerian idea of fusion of horizons. A post-structuralist feminist perspective is adopted, incorporating Foucault's ideas on power, knowledge, truth and resistance. Eight definitions of these new mothers' well-being are presented. Implications for nursing practice, education and research are discussed Master of Nursing (Hons)