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Nurs Ethics. 2008 Jul;15(4):500-11. doi: 10.1177/0969733008090521.

Uncaring midwives.

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  • 1University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to understand how mothers experienced midwives' uncaring behaviour and actions during birth. Sixty-seven first-time mothers took part in the study, in which data were collected through interview. The interview text was analysed using hermeneutic text analysis. Nearly half of the mothers interviewed (n = 32) said that midwives did not care for them. The findings show that midwives' behaviour was humiliating when they ignored mothers and held them in contempt. The mothers felt further humiliated when the midwives did not believe them, treated their bodies in a careless manner and tended to put blame on them. Through their behaviour and actions, some midwives have shown that they no longer have a caring attitude as an element of their professional practice and that they have ignored ethics by offending mothers' sense of dignity.

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