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How norms concerning maternity, femininity and cisgender increase stress among lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people with a fear of childbirth.

Authors
  • Malmquist, Anna1
  • Wikström, Johanna2
  • Jonsson, Louise2
  • Nieminen, Katri3
  • 1 Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping, Sweden. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Sweden)
  • 2 Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden. , (Sweden)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Midwifery
Publication Date
Nov 19, 2020
Volume
93
Pages
102888–102888
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2020.102888
PMID: 33260003
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To explore and describe norms concerning maternity, femininity and cisgender in lesbian and bisexual women and transgender people (LBT) assigned female at birth, with an expressed fear of childbirth (FOC). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with self-identified LBT people with an expressed FOC. 17 self-identified LBT people participated. 15 had an expressed FOC, and two were non-afraid partners. Participants described how their FOC was related to ideals of "the primal woman", including ideals of a natural birth. They also described stress in relation to expectations of gaining a feminine-coded body during pregnancy and of being related to as feminine women. Maternity ideals, and the ideal of the "natural" birth, can be particularly stressful on those who fear childbirth. Norms concerning femininity and cisgender can contribute to FOC among those who do not comfortably conform with feminine body ideals or feminine gender expressions. Treatments of FOC must be designed to acknowledge whether and how norms concerning maternity, femininity and cisgender affect the individual's FOC. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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