“My body is strong and amazing:” Embodied experiences of pregnancy and birth among young women in foster care
Children and Youth Services Review, 2019
Elizabeth Aparicio, PhD, MSW; Claudette Grinnell-Davis, PhD, MS, MSW; Bryn King, PhD, MSW; and Svetlana Shpiegel, PhD, MSW
Aparicio, E.M., Shpiegel, S., Grinnell-Davis, C., & King, B. (2019). “My body is strong and amazing:” Embodied experiences of pregnancy and birth among young women in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 199-205.
Foster youth become pregnant at 2–3 times the rate of the general U.S. adolescent population. Yet, there is a dearth of literature exploring experiences of pregnancy and birth among such young women. This phenomenological study included 18 in-depth interviews with six mothers aged 19–22 years in or transitioning from foster care. This process yielded three themes characterizing how young women in foster care experience the phenomenon of pregnancy and birth: 1) Personal Pain, Personal Renewal; 2) Unplanned Pregnancies, Intentional Births; and 3) Powerful Bodies, Powerful Families. Findings extend the existing literature on adolescent pregnancy and childbirth, particularly among foster youth; related implications are discussed.