Victoria University

The Maternity Experience of New Zealand Samoan First-time Mothers

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dc.contributor.advisor Suaali'i-Sauni, Tamasailau Churchward, Marianna Ellen 2018-11-09T02:47:45Z 2018-11-09T02:47:45Z 2015 2015
dc.description.abstract Motherhood is a life-changing event. It is a significant milestone for a woman. This thesis explores the concept of motherhood from the perspectives of Samoan first-time mothers living in New Zealand. The thesis traces their experiences from conception, pregnancy and childbirth through to early motherhood. Their narratives are the focus of the research and are complemented by the viewpoints from some of their own mothers, and maternity health professionals. The overarching question, ‘What are the experiences of a group of first-time New Zealand-born Samoan mothers before and after birth?’ was framed from a strengths-based approach and draws on work which defines a strength-based approach to resilience as research that changed traditional deficit perspectives. Rather than focusing on how individuals or families have failed or struggled, emphasis is directed to how they can succeed or how they can manage (Walsh, 2006). Interviews were conducted in Wellington and Auckland with 11 first-time Samoan mothers prior to childbirth and follow-up interviews with nine of these women within 12 months of the birth of their child. Five Samoan grandmothers, i.e. mothers of these first-time mothers, five midwives and five Plunket nurses were also interviewed. Four sites of analysis were examined – the embodied experience of conception and pregnancy; the process of labour and childbirth; the new norm of early motherhood, and interpersonal relationships and encounters. Analysis was conducted through the overarching lens of the Samoan concept of the vā (Wendt, 1999), the theoretical frameworks of ‘negotiated spaces’ (Mila-Schaaf and Hudson, 2009) and sophisticated mediation (Churchward, 2011). It was found that the first-time New Zealand-born Samoan mothers engaged in a complex and, at times, contradictory process of seeking support during their transition to motherhood. They demonstrated resilience and their skill as sophisticated mediators. The women depended on relationships, some biological and some not, that were reliable and sustainable and the interaction and care that the relationship offered. Intergenerational relationships were important to these first-time New Zealand-born Samoan mothers, particularly ones they had with their own mother, or someone close to them, as it was pivotal in the way in which they constructed their maternity experience. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Samoan first-time mother en_NZ
dc.subject sm
dc.subject Pacific en_NZ
dc.subject Motherhood en_NZ
dc.title The Maternity Experience of New Zealand Samoan First-time Mothers en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit Va’aomanū Pasifika en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ Pacific Studies en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Doctoral en_NZ Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 111006 Midwifery en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 111715 Pacific Peoples Health en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 160508 Health Policy en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society en_NZ

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