Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Midwives follow a holistic philosophy of care that goes beyond just medical intervention, providing support to both mother and family through the various stages of pregnancy and child birth. Yet, there is a lack of research in the US that examines how midwives invest emotion in their work, and the challenges they face when doing so. Drawing on the concept of Arlie Hochschild's (1979) emotion work as a lens for this study, I examine how midwifery students experience and manage emotion when delivering care to patients during clinical training in a large, urban hospital. Using eight qualitative, in-depth interviews with student midwives, the data suggests that students are not only managing emotion when delivering care to patients, but also when dealing with competing ideologies of care. The data reveals four intersecting themes or possible sources of emotion work for midwifery students: 1) interactions with the organization and its norms, rules and policies; 2) interactions with doctors, nurses and other staff; 3) interactions with other midwives; and 4) interactions with patients. How midwifery students are able to negotiate these relationships affects how midwives work and how they feel at work. Research from this project has contributed to knowledge on the emotional aspects of midwifery work, and may provide insight into what midwifery students are experiencing emotionally in similar midwifery programs around the US.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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