Exploring Midwives’ Understanding of Spiritual Care and the Role of the Healthcare Chaplain within a Maternity Unit
Keywords:Chaplaincy, midwife, nursing, relationship, self, spiritual care, therapeutic presence
This study explores midwives’ understanding of spiritual care and the role of the healthcare chaplain within a maternity unit. The findings demonstrate that spiritual care is an integral part of midwifery care, rooted in personal experiences and clinical practice. Whilst recognizing that historically spiritual care and religious care were one and the same, there was a clear understanding that within the healthcare setting spiritual care is very separate from religiosity and the religious. The relationship between a midwife and the woman they care for is described as a key manifestation of spiritual care. There was a clear understanding of the chaplain’s role; staff valued their presence and support, and there was recognition that the chaplain had an important and unique role in relation to the provision of religious rituals and symbolic rites. The findings indicate a need to identify spiritual care training resources for staff; a need for the healthcare chaplain to have a “presence” in maternity units and a need for further research into the spiritual needs of women during childbirth.
Breen, G., S. Price, and M. Lake (2007). “Spirituality and High-Risk Pregnancy: Another Aspect of Patient Care”. AWHONN Lifelines 10(6): 467–73.
Callister, L., S. Holt and M. Kuhre (2010) “Giving Birth: The Voices of Australian Women”. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing 24 (2): 128–36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181cf0429
Callister, L., and I. Khalaf (2010) “Spirituality in Childbearing Women”. The Journal of Perinatal Education 19(2): 16–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812410X495514
Galek, K., K. Flannelly, H. Koenig and S. Fogg (2007) “Referrals to Chaplains: The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Healthcare Settings”. Mental Health, Religion & Culture 10(4): 363–77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13674670600757064
Garratt, R. (2001) The Midwife as Healer. Complementary Therapies in Nursing & Midwifery 7: 197–201. http://dx.doi.org/10.1054/ctnm.2001.0573
Gordon, T., E. Kelly and D. Mitchell (2011) Spiritual Care for Healthcare Professionals: Reflecting on Clinical Practice. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Hall, J. (2000) “Spiritual Midwifery Care: Old Practice for a New Millennium”. British Journal of Midwifery 8(2): 82. http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjom.2000.8.2.8187
—(2006) “Spirituality at the Beginning of Life”. Journal of Clinical Nursing 15: 804–10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01650.x
—(2010). “Spirituality and Labour Care”. In Intrapartum Care: Essential Midwifery Practice, ed. D. Walsh and S. Downe, 235–51. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
James, J., E. Cottle and D. Hodge (2010) “A Phenomenological Exploration of Healthcare Chaplains (HCC’S) and Registered Nurses’ (RN’s) Support of Family Members during Resuscitation of Their Loved Ones”. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy 13(2): 9–13.
McHugh, N. (2003) “Midwives of the Soul: The Spirituality of Birth”. Midwifery Matters 97: 4–5.
Meert, K., C. Thurston and S. Briller (2005) “The Spiritual Needs of Parents at the Time of their Child’s Death in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and During Bereavement: A Qualitative Study”. Paediatric Critical Care Medicine 6(4): 420–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.PCC.0000163679.87749.CA
Mitchell, M., and J. Hall (2007) “Teaching Spirituality to Student Midwives: A Creative Approach”. Nurse Education in Practice 7: 416–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2007.02.007
Mowat, H. (2008) The Potential for Efficacy of Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS (UK). Aberdeen: Mowat Research Limited.
NES (2009) Spiritual Care Matters: An Introductory Resource for All NHS Scotland Staff. Glasgow: NHS Education for Scotland Healthcare Chaplaincy Training and Development Unit.
Paley, J. (2008) “Spirituality and Secularization: Nursing and the Sociology of Religion”. Journal of Clinical Nursing 17(2): 175–86.
Parratt, J. A., and K. M. Fahy. (2008) “Including the nonrational is sensible midwifery”. Woman in Birth 21: 37–42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2007.12.002
Pembroke, N., and J. Pembroke (2008) “The Spirituality of Presence in Midwifery Care”. Midwifery 24: 321–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2006.10.004
Price, S., M. Lake, G. Breen, G. Carson, C. Quinn and T. O’Connor (2007) “The Spiritual Experience of High-risk Pregnancy”. Journal of Obstetric, Gynaecologic, and Neonatal Nursing 36(1): 63–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00110.x
Rafferty, A. (2012) “Feminist Theology Now”. Feminist Theology 20(3): 190–94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0966735012436896
Robinson, M., M. Thiel, M. Backus and C. Meyer (2006) “Matters of Spirituality at the End of Life in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit”. Paediatrics 118(3): 719–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2005-2298
Royal College of Nursing (2011b) Spirituality Survey 2010: A Report by the Royal College of Nursing on Members’ Views on Spirituality and Spiritual Care in Nursing Practice. London: Royal College of Nursing.
Scottish Government (2008) Chief Executive Letter: CEL (2008) 49 Spiritual Care. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
—(2009) Spiritual Care & Chaplaincy. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
Swinton, J., and H. Mowat (2006) Practical Theology and Qualitative Research. London: SCM Press.
Szasz, T. (2003) “The Cure of Souls in the Therapeutic State”. Psychoanalytic Review 90(1): 45–62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/prev.220.127.116.1189
Weinberger-Litman, S., M. Muncie, L. Flannelly and K. Flannelly (2010) “When Do Nurses Refer to Professional Chaplains?” Holistic Nursing Practice (January/February 2010): 44–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HNP.0b013e3181c8e491
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.