Sharing stories: constructing knowledge, language and meanings

 

This is one of the significant findings of a PhD research about midwifery practice in Québec, Canada, before its legalization: midwives where meeting each week to take time to share stories about births they were immersed in.  It was a time to learn, and to understand (profound knowing). Each experience had the power to bring new knowledge and new meanings.   After the legalization of midwifery, the pressure of institutionalization was  to adopt a ritualized form of birth stories: reporting facts, timing of interventions and results, using the biomedical knowledge for convenience. Yet we have to remember that telling stories is creating a shared experience where we can interpret the events beyond their immediacy.  Narratives are bringing meanings, values  and consciousness. Sharing stories has an epistemological value. It can also participate to the creation of a midwife’s language, reflecting its unique “gaze” on the world of women and birth.  It is the time to revisit the value and importance of sharing stories for midwives and to claim its appropriation.