Experiences of physical activity during pregnancy resulting from in vitro fertilisation: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Journal article


Walker, C., Mills, H. and Gilchrist, A. 2017. Experiences of physical activity during pregnancy resulting from in vitro fertilisation: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2017.1313968
AuthorsWalker, C., Mills, H. and Gilchrist, A.
Abstract

Objective To explore the qualitative experiences and decision-making processes surrounding physical activity (PA) for women who have undergone IVF treatment.

Background Physical activity (PA) during pregnancy is safe for both mother and fetus in the majority of cases, including for women who have undergone in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment; however, there is a paucity of research into decision-making and PA in this population.

Methods Eight women, who had undergone successful IVF treatment and were currently pregnant or had given birth within the last two years, participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences of infertility and PA during pregnancy. Interview transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results Three superordinate themes emerged from the data: ‘navigating away from childlessness and towards motherhood’, ‘negotiating a safe passage’, and ‘balancing the challenges of pregnancy with the needs of the self’. Ten subthemes indicated the processes adopted to navigate experiences of infertility, the IVF process, and subsequent decision-making about PA during pregnancy.

Conclusion PA during pregnancy was experienced as a way to soothe the self and control the experience of pregnancy; however, this was mediated by concerns about safety and physical limitations on PA. Limitations of the study are considered, as well as implications for clinical practice and directions for future research.

Year2017
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN0264-6838
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2017.1313968
Publication dates
Online20 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Feb 2017
Accepted30 Jan 2017
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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ContributorsWalker, C., Mills, H. and Gilchrist, A.
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