Illuminating the dark side of matrescence: Occupation-based strategies promoting occupational justice, identity development, equity, and inclusion

Bex Twinley, Beth Ann Walker, Ellen Wainberg, Melissa LaPointe, Carla Walker, Sasha Wray, Shameera Osman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter aims to shed light on lesser explored mothering occupations. Amidst dominant concepts of idealised motherhood and ‘normal’ family units, there is an endless range of ways to be, identify, become, and belong as a mother in different societies and world cultures. Whilst some motherhood experiences differ from the norm, others can be polarising and isolating, leaving women feeling unwelcome, under-supported, and unsafe when accessing mainstream healthcare services or communities. Recognising intersectionality in context of difficult, non-traditional, and taboo motherhood topics, occupational therapy strategies to support marginalised mothers from a matricentric feminist perspective are explored.

Therapeutic approaches to promoting occupational justice, agency, advocacy, autonomy, and self-efficacy are discussed from a strengths-based and empowerment perspectives. This chapter advocates for holistic, culturally-sensitive, and gender-responsive care for listening, respecting, and validating diversity and differences in individuals’ maternal experiences, values, and choices. Through occupation-based practice, therapists can better support mothers facing societal and personal challenges, fostering resilience, wellbeing, and quality of life. The chapter calls for continuous self-reflection and exploration of innovative strategies to ensure inclusive, sensitive, and equitable support for all mothers during their transformative journey of matrescence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnhancing Women’s Wellbeing During Matrescence and Perinatal Transitions
Subtitle of host publicationAn Evidence-based Guide for Occupational Therapists
EditorsHannah Slootjes
PublisherRoutledge; Taylor & Francis
Chapter18
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 May 2024

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