This book examines the ways in which a group of childbearing women living in poverty in the west Midlands of England attempted to make sense of their lives and experiences. It draws on their words, thoughts and reflections and provides rich insights into the complex world of women, poverty and childbirth. The results of the study are used to reflect on how care is currently provided to women and their families during their childbirth experience and how that care could be improved. Examining the different ways in which individual women experience pregnancy and poverty, Sheila Hunt illustrates how the private stresses and strains of poverty impact on how women cope with family life. The changing and varied relationships with male partners and the support systems provided by grandmothers play a large part in these women's lives, as does their well-developed sense of responsibility and intention to do their best by their children despite their circumstances. The aim of "Poverty, Pregnancy and the Professional" is to attempt to provide an understanding of what it is like to be both pregnant and poor and to try to show how midwives and other health professionals can use this understanding and insight to offer more appropriate and sensitive care. It is no longer enough to give out advice and then despair at those who appear to fail to act upon that advice. If care is to significantly improve, midwives like any successful business, must 'sell' what their 'customers' want to buy. This text sets out clearly what one group of women really want from the midwifery profession.
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