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Birth and spirituality.

Crowther, Susan


Susan Crowther


Laszlo Zsolnai

Bernadette Flanagan


Spirituality and healthcare is predominantly focussed on end of life care, the central concern of this chapter is spirituality at the start of life. Although there is emergent literature gesturing towards spirituality and healthcare there remains a paucity of literature that solely focusses on spirituality at the beginning of life and reproduction. A systematic review of the literature using a hermeneutic (interpretive) lens found that what literature there is focussed on spiritual ‘care’, - the act of doing, whilst the lived-experience of spirituality at birth was often left as a cliché after thought, for example, ‘it was so joyful when the baby arrived’, and ‘it is such a lovely special moment’. Yet despite this paucity of published evidence birth is fundamentally experiential and involves and concerns us all: parents, those planning to be parents, people that do not have or plan to have children and health care professionals involved in maternity (e.g. medical staff, midwives and other allied health care professionals).


CROWTHER, S. 2019. Birth and spirituality. In Laszlo, Z. and Flanagan, B. (eds.) The Routledge international handbook of spirituality and society. London: Routledge [online], pages 113-119. Available from:

Acceptance Date Jul 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 15, 2019
Publication Date Mar 1, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 2, 2020
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 113-119
Book Title The Routledge international handbook of spirituality and society.
ISBN 9781138214675
Keywords Spirituality; Healthcare; Birth; Maternity; Midwives
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