While poetic inquiry has been used to explore many aspects of motherhood, there has been less attention given to pregnant, birthing, and immediately postpartum/fourth trimester embodiment. Here, we utilize poetry to explore a topic that is understudied and embodied experiences in the transition from pregnancy to early motherhood. The poems we present in this article are part of a larger project exploring experiences of embodied transition into motherhood. In the context of this larger project, 14 women were interviewed about their experiences of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. In order to maintain focus on the embodied transition to new motherhood, only participants within 6 months of their first birth at the time of the interview are included in this article. The full data set was analyzed using a feminist-informed qualitative method centered on voice (The Listening Guide), and the poems we present here are derived from the second listening, which focuses on participants’ use of “I” in their narratives.
poetic inquiry, motherhood, embodiment, postpartum, The Listening Guide
The authors would like to thank Cathleen Flynn for her careful editing of this manuscript.
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Recommended APA Citation
Bennett, E. A., & Koelsch, L. E. (2022). “I Needed to Become a Mother”: Poetic Representations of Maternal Embodiment, Autonomy, and Birth Trauma. The Qualitative Report, 27(3), 731-743. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5258