Connection and disconnection: Experiences of integration

Helen Shallow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proposed changes recommended by the report Changing Childbirth (Department of Health, 1993) heralded a new era for midwifery as it moved towards utilizing midwifery skills in a more holistic and less fragmented way in order to promote continuity of care. Seven years on from the report, midwives are unhappy. The proposed changes have led to midwives becoming overworked, stressed, undermined and feeling devalued. The majority of women are still cared for at the birth by an unknown midwife, and care continues to be fragmented. This is the second part of a four-part series, drawn from a qualitative study examining midwives' experiences of becoming integrated within teams. The author looks at why grounded theory was used to analyse the data. Issues of bias and being an insider are discussed, as they are factors crucial to the integrity of the work. It then examines the first major theme, ‘Connection and Disconnection’. Some women experienced an increase in the contact with women and connected with them for the first time, while others experienced a reduction in the contact with women they knew. Ultimately, all midwives experienced disconnection, as they were unable to deliver the continuity of care that the new model was set up to provide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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