Escalating the positive in antenatal consultations: Midwife support in (inter)action
Keywords:antenatal care, antenatal consultations, assessment, conversation analysis, midwives, support
AbstractThis article investigates the practical accomplishment of support in midwife-led antenatal interactions. Drawing on 16 transcribed antenatal consultations from Australia, and utilizing principles of conversation analysis, we investigate a range of interactional practices that midwives use to support expectant mothers and create a positive interactional environment during the consultations. The interactional practices examined include positive assessments, compliments, enhanced agreements, extended back-channels, good wishing, humor and joking, and brightside formulations. Through these turns, the midwife works to create with the woman a shared positive stance towards the upcoming birth by encouraging her, endorsing her decisions, treating the woman’s progression through pregnancy as an achievement, and selectively focusing on the positive side of situations. As such, the research contributes to understanding the practical management of support, a concept which underpins many health and care professions.
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