Performing pregnancy: towards understanding the pregnancy experience of physically active women
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AbstractThe construction of pregnancy, predominantly based in a privileged medical discourse, seems to be inadequate for explaining pregnant women's experiences, particularly physically active women. It specifically fails to account for the situatedness of pregnant women and the impact of pregnancy on their identities and lives. This interpretative investigation was undertaken to create conversational space between existing discourses and physically active women to better understand their experiences of pregnancy. Using a hermeneutic approach, this co-constructive process was guided by postmodernist perspectives, specifically Judith Butler's (1990) concept of gender performativity, as well as the lived experience of the researcher as both a mother and physically active pregnant woman. Eleven conversations with six physically active women illuminated their lived experiences in pregnancy. The different discourses contributing to active women's performance of pregnancy and the impact that these discourses had on these women were explored. The hermeneutic interpretation of all these conversations, in conjunction with existing discourses, led to the consideration of different ways of performing pregnancy for physically active women and to the opening up of the script for further conversation. Consideration was also given to the implications arising from this research experience that may influence future research, counselling practice, and daily living.
Bibliography: p. 161-171