i Caring Beyond the Table: Exploring New Zealand Osteopaths ’ Experience of Treating Pregnant Women: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study


ii Background: Pregnant women experience a variety of pregnancy-related complaints that significantly impact their quality of life. Osteopathic manual therapy is frequently used to treat these complaints in New Zealand. Women have described osteopathic care in pregnancy as increasing their quality of life by improving their ability to function and carry out their roles and responsibilities, reducing stress and providing security during a time of change (Kurth, 2011). Objective: This descriptive phenomenological study explores osteopaths ’ experiences of caring for pregnant women. Method: Snowball sampling recruited five practising osteopaths who specialise in treating pregnant women. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and analysed using descriptive phenomenology. Results: Two major themes were uncovered: 1) Gaining a sense of her journey, and 2) Caring beyond the table. Participants needed to gain an appreciation of each woman’s unique journey to and through pregnancy and the impact of pregnancy related changes on the individual in order to tailo

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