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Supporting same-sex mothers in the Nordic child health field: a systematic literature review and meta-synthesis of the most gender equal countries
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 25, no 23-24, 3469-3483 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims and objectives. To explore the needs of and support given to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sex parents within the Nordic child health field. Background. The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sex parents is growing around the world. However, they face fear, discrimination and heteronormativity within the child health field. The Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) rank as the most gender equal countries in the world; therefore, they may support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sex parents to a greater extent. Design. Systematic literature review and meta-synthesis. Method. A systematic search was conducted for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sex parents' experiences in the child health field, which consists of prenatal, labour and birth, postnatal and child health clinics, using PubMed, PsychInfo, Sociological Abstracts and CINAHL, as well as searching the grey literature, from 2000-2015. Ten articles were included. A quality assessment and a meta-synthesis of the articles were performed. Results. Nearly all studies were qualitative, and most articles had at least one area of insufficient reporting. Only two countries, Sweden and Norway, had lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sex parents reporting on the child health field. However, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex parents' perspectives were nonexistent in the literature; therefore, the results all relate to same-sex mothers. Five themes were found: Acceptance of Same-sex Mothers, Disclosing Sexual Orientation, Heteronormative Obstacles, Co-mothers are Not Fathers, and Being the Other Parent. Conclusions. Same-sex mothers are generally accepted within the Nordic child health field, but they still face overt and covert heteronormative obstacles, resulting in forms of discrimination and fear. Co-mothers feel invisible and secondary if they are not treated like an equal parent, but feel noticed and important when they are given equal support. Relevance to clinical practice. Changes at the organisational and personnel levels can be made to better support same-sex mothers and co-mothers. Recognising both parents benefits the whole family.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 25, no 23-24, 3469-3483 p.
Keyword [en]
child health centres, labour and birth wards, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Norway, postnatal clinics, prenatal clinics, same-sex fathers, same-sex mothers, Scandinavia, Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137597DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13340ISI: 000388923000005PubMedID: 27451972OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-137597DiVA: diva2:1066187
Available from: 2017-01-17 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2017-01-17Bibliographically approved

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