Problematic integration of uncertainty and desire in pregnancy

Marianne Sassi Matthias, Austin S. Babrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although most women in the United States choose physicians for their prenatal care, a small but growing number are now turning to midwives. The disparity between these two models of care has clear implications for the communication that takes place with each type of provider. In this project, the authors seek to understand the mother-midwife relationship by employing a case study approach with multiple data collection methods to examine one woman's struggles with the uncertainties she faces during her pregnancy. The authors employed problematic integration (PI) theory, which illuminates struggles with uncertainty, profound values, and communication, to examine how one woman and her midwife jointly handle and negotiate the dilemmas posed by her pregnancy. The woman's relationship and interactions with her midwife exemplify the midwifery model of care and illuminate the implications that this model has for the joint confrontation of uncertainty and desire during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-798
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Health communication
  • Midwifery
  • Pregnancy
  • Problematic integration
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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