Holding two babies in mind: a narrative inquiry into the impact on a woman’s sense of self in the transition to twin motherhood

DCPsych thesis


September, S. 2023. Holding two babies in mind: a narrative inquiry into the impact on a woman’s sense of self in the transition to twin motherhood. DCPsych thesis Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute Psychology
TypeDCPsych thesis
TitleHolding two babies in mind: a narrative inquiry into the impact on a woman’s sense of self in the transition to twin motherhood
AuthorsSeptember, S.
Abstract

Over recent decades there has been a large increase in multiple pregnancies (Newman & Luke, 2000). However, there is little research into the experiences of mothers who transition to twin motherhood, despite this group being identified in quantitative research as potentially vulnerable (Choi et al. 2009; Hay et al, 1990; Sheard et al, 2007; Thorpe et al, 1991; Wenze et al, 2015). Four mothers of twins ranging from 20 to 30 months were invited to narrate their experiences of the transition to motherhood and the impact on their sense of self, filling a notable gap in the research field. Narrative inquiry was the chosen methodology, embedding reflexivity throughout the research process with an awareness of ethics and power dynamics in the research relationship and wider culture which has traditionally undervalued mothers’ experiences. Women’s stories were analysed using The Listening Guide (Gilligan, 1982), aiming to capture the complex and multi-layered nature of the psyche, expressed through a multiplicity of voices (Brown & Gilligan, 1992) and understood within social and cultural frameworks (Gilligan & Eddy, 2017). The reader is invited to engage in depth with each participant’s story, which represent a chorus of (twin mother) voices (Riessman 1993). Themes noticed across stories were: Being/feeling maternal, Fairy-tale versus reality, Silenced emotions, Overwhelm, Isolation, The critical voice, Negotiating mother/career, Dynamic of four and Voices that speak to culture. The findings support therapists to reflect on the unique complexities of becoming a twin mother, in the context of a psycho-social culture of the mother-baby dyad as norm. They also aim to ignite questions about clinical work with twin mothers as a unique subgroup in the field of perinatal mental health.

Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Metanoia Institute
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Mar 2023
Accepted20 Feb 2023
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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