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Pregnant pause: delayed motherhood and its connection to individual and collective complexes

Barone-Chapman, Maryann 2016. Pregnant pause: delayed motherhood and its connection to individual and collective complexes. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This research views the problem of delayed motherhood as a complexity of time: firstly, within the life trajectory of the child/adolescent/young woman/mid-life adult, and secondly, in relation to inherited factors that came before her entry into this life, threatening to continue after it. The thesis argues, from an advocacy perspective, for a period of mid-life that we could call a Pregnant Pause, which, as the research demonstrates, points to an early rupture in nurturing and relating. The research follows 8 women who have become pregnant in mid life. Using interviews, dream diaries and the Word Association Test, the thesis identifies those factors within personal, cultural and collective complexes influencing onset of late procreative desire. These are discussed in relation to causation and teleological continua. The empirical work yielded data rich in presentations of difficulties with the maternal parent, while the paternal parent remained marginalized. In parallel, the presence of a male sibling was found to have a significant effect on how women unconsciously organized their lives into two parts, “first Adam, then Eve”, insofar as identities around work and the maternal were concerned. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the interconnection between the individuating woman and the culture in which she is born, arguing that delayed motherhood is both an act of rebellion and redemption. Identification of a Pregnant Pause within these life trajectories clarifies three phases of delayed motherhood: before a baby, desperate for a baby, and after the baby. The implications of this research are discussed in parallel as dissociation from trauma, facing into earlier trauma with renewed determination, and transformations inspired by the Trickster archetype. The implications of this research range from, how not to raise a daughter, through to raising awareness on how the mother-daughter relationship impacts delayed motherhood and thus society, ultimately to address the need to re- imagine a national health service that values the personal and social impact on women who have lived their lives in two parts. This research aims to serve women who have no other means of redeeming their lost years except to find support for a reproductive identity through the NHS.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2017
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2021 11:15

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