Little is known about remote rural maternity experiences. The practice realities of rural maternity care providers are often unheard. Using a hermeneutic phenomenology methodological approach the lived experiences of remote maternity in the New Zealand context were examined. Participants included rural living mothers, midwives, general practitioners and ambulance crew. Five pairs of qualities surfaced in analysis. These themes or qualities were found to be in constant tension and always dynamic. These five pairs of tensions will be presented in poster format. Each theme will be supported by stories from the analysed data:
Spirit of place-tyranny of distances,
Relationships matter-living with discord,
Spirit of generosity-feeling Invisible,
Self-reliance-relying on others,
Being known-fearing censure.
The tensions highlight that there are both joys and vulnerabilities in remote maternity experience. Remote rural maternity is not the same in all regions and not all services fitted local needs well. A transdisciplinary approach is suggested to ensure all stakeholders concerned with remote rural maternity services are engaged in complementary support of each other. Although findings are not generalizable they are transferable to other contexts globally. The importance of working and practising in a transdisciplinary way promotes safety for remote communities, nurtures joy of practice and contributes to retention, recruitment and sustainability. Recommendations for practitioners, maternity health policy-makers and education are given.
This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.