Open Access Article

Title: Mapping the emotional terrain of midwifery: What can we see and what lies ahead?

Authors: Billie Hunter

Addresses: Institute for Health Research, School of Health Sciences, Swansea University, Floor 2, Vivian Tower, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK

Abstract: Greater understanding of midwives| emotion work could potentially improve practitioner/client and collegial relationships, and inform future organisation and delivery of maternity care. However, midwives| emotion work remains relatively unrecognised and under-investigated. Drawing on a previous paper (Hunter, 2001), I contrast previous and current knowledge in the field. Four key areas appear significant: impact of work context and organisation; midwife-woman relationships; collegial relationships; emotion work as coercion or gift? More research is needed into how midwives manage emotions and learn emotion management skills. Trends towards ||high tech but low care solutions|| (Kirkham, 2009, p.237) have implications for future emotion work study.

Keywords: emotion work; boundary work; midwife-woman relationships; midwives; collegial relationships; care deficits; midwifery; practitioner-client relationships; maternity care; coercion; emotions management; high tech solutions; low care solutions; work organisation; virtual feelings; visceral feelings.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2010.032925

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2010 Vol.3 No.3, pp.253 - 269

Published online: 05 May 2010 *