Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The purposes of this study were to: 1) explore and describe the experience of the midwifery model of childbirth from the perspectives of midwives and mothers who had planned a homebirth; 2) determine the extent to which the experience of the midwifery model of childbirth evidences my values which have been influenced by feminist literature and literature on empowerment; and 3) make the information from this research available to midwives, families who have used the services of midwives, and the public in general. Four midwives and ten mothers who had planned a homebirth between January 1, 1990 and February 15, 1991, participated in open-ended interviews to share their experiences of homebirth. The results of these interviews were analysed qualitatively and several themes emerged as being important to the experience of the midwifery model of childbirth, such as mothers’ taking responsibility for the homebirth, the belief in birth as a normal event in a woman’s life, the person nature of the mother-midwife relationship, supportive and non-supportive reactions of physicians to homebirth plans, the support and involvement of partners, and the reactions of family and friends. The implications of this study and plans for its use are outlined, and suggestions are made regarding future research on midwifery.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season