Here is the title ( in french) of the thesis, and the abstract (in english).
I was hoping to do a presentation at the ICM congress in Glasgow but there
was many informatic difficulties and it will not be possible. You are
welcome in Canada in marsh!
“Être là”: étude du phénomène de la pratique sage-femme au Québec dans les
This study explores the meaning of the phenomenon of midwifery practice in
Québec. After legalization of midwifery in 1999, it was acknowledged that
the midwifery practice was, in spite of available information,
misunderstood. There was a need to explore the world of midwives to reveal
its meanings and to understand what it is like to practice midwifery. The
question that was asked was: How can we understand midwifery practice from
the lived experience of midwives who were practicing before legalization in
Quebec? A qualitative approach was chosen to fully answer the research
question. Heidegger’s hermeneutical phenomenology and Ricoeur’s philosophy
as well as the methodology of M. van Manen were used to explore the internal
meaning structures within the world of midwives. The lived experience of 15
midwives, who practiced before the 1999 legalization of midwifery in Quebec,
was collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews. The analysis was
done through writing and re-writing.
Themes were like “clearings” so as to “see” the structures of meaning
underlying the lived experience of practicing midwives. Some of the themes
that were discovered were: being called, being there for each woman, taking
time… and space, being there to welcome the newborn, knowing how to help by
doing nothing, “be ready”, learning and understanding together, develop
complicity, and building a midwife presence in Québec. A very important
theme was: “holding the space”, meaning that being a midwife is “being a
guardian of the possibilities”, “being a guardian of the mystery”, and
“being a guardian of the passage”. Finally, the essential structure of the
experience of midwifery practice was: “being there”.
Hermeneutic does not pretend to generate theories but it is essentially a
practical philosophy where knowledge is given a direction. In a context
dominated by medical, technoscientific and evidence based practice, the
findings of this study were considered as an invitation to explore new
possibilities for midwives. First, we will propose maïeutic, a dialogic
approach to knowledge and understanding wich develop analytical skill to
examine life, cope with diversity and complexity and flourish amidst it.
Secondly, we will propose phronesis or practical wisdom, an hermeneutical
enterprise, a way to mediate between the universal and the particular.
Phronesis involves deliberation and decision in relation to a singular
situation, leading to ethical choices. In the conclusion, all the potential
for emancipation for midwives will be presented.
all the best,
>From: Abela Margaret at MDH <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: "A forum for discussion on midwifery and reproductive health
> research." <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: First midwife PhD in Québec
>Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 14:41:59 +0100
> Dear Celine
>It would be interesting to know what the topic was and the results of the
>Plan to be in Canada in March 2008.
>From: A forum for discussion on midwifery and reproductive health research.
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carolyn Hastie
>Sent: 30 November 2007 13:55
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: First midwife PhD in Québec
>Wow Céline, that is fantastic! Congratulations.
>What was your topic and what did you find?
>in awe, Carolyn
>Belmont Birthing Services
>Hunter New England Health
>Conjoint Senior Lecturer
>School of Nursing & Midwifery
>University of Newcastle
>Mobile 0428 112 786
>Email [log in to unmask]
>"when you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it
>is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love" Marcus
> >>> Céline Lemay <[log in to unmask]> 30/11/2007 11:10:46 pm >>>
>I am very interested by this online midwifery meetings.
>I use another program for distance courses with student midwives. They can
>even be in international placements and discuss with other students here,
>in Québec, Canada.
>At the first meeting, I was stoped by a login problem and I was not able to
>The second was completely in the middle of the night for me (4 AM). At
>another time, I would have tried but I am too tired at this moment.
>I would suggest a more precise goal for those meetings: a theme of
>research, tools and ressources for researchers, ethic, some problems, etc.
>I just finish my PhD ( first midwife in Québec) and there is a serious lack
>of research on midwifery and maternity care.
>keep the efforts. I am very preoccupied by the situation for pregnant and
>birthing women on our planet. Midwives need to be together and strong.
>Research is a good tool to bring light on deeper issues.
>Céline Lemay, sage-femme, PhD
>Université du Québec à Trois Rivières