A1 Journal article (refereed)
Narrative Study of the Significance of Infertility and Its Treatment for Maternal Identity (2019)

Lehto, S., Sevón, E., Rönkä, A., & Laakso, M.-L. (2019). Narrative Study of the Significance of Infertility and Its Treatment for Maternal Identity. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 48(4), 445-455. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jogn.2019.05.004

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Lehto, Siru; Sevón, Eija; Rönkä, Anna; Laakso, Marja-Leena

Journal or series: Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing

ISSN: 0884-2175

eISSN: 1552-6909

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 48

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 445-455

Publisher: Elsevier; Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jogn.2019.05.004

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Objective: To explore how women who experienced infertility and underwent fertility treatments constructed maternal identities after they successfully gave birth.

Design: Narrative qualitative study.

Setting: Finland, Scandinavia.

Participants: Twenty-six previously infertile Finnish women who later conceived were recruited via social media, health clinics, and relevant informal support organizations.

Methods: Narrative analysis was used to process written accounts and individual episodic interviews with each of the 26 women.

Results: Four different identity stories emerged from the data: Fractured Maternity, Pursuing Maternity, Learning Maternity, and Discovering Maternity. Infertility, its treatment, and childbirth were narrated as turning points in the participants' life courses, but the significance of these turning points for maternal identity varied across the four stories.

Conclusion: These findings have important implications for nursing practice. Health care professionals should be aware of the effects of previous long-standing infertility on the subsequent experience of motherhood so they can provide women with understanding, sufficient support, and appropriate interventions throughout the transition to motherhood.

Keywords: infertility; infertility treatment; maternity; identity (mental objects); narrative analysis

Free keywords: fertility treatment; infertility; maternal identity; motherhood; narrative study

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-11-08 at 14:48