Sigma Theta Tau International Award
I am a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. Under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Estefan, my narrative inquiry research focuses on how lesbian birth mothers’ story themselves as mothers as they seek maternity healthcare services.
My maternity nursing practice began in 1999 on a busy labour and delivery (L&D) unit in Calgary. I completed a Master of Nursing in 2004 focused on factors influencing mothers’ motivation to breastfeed. I have worked as a postpartum public health nurse, managed a women’s health clinic/L&D unit, and as a tertiary care centre site manager. I began teaching nursing as an instructor at the University of Calgary (2008), and as Associate Professor at Mount Royal University. I have taught maternal/child content to both undergraduate nursing and international credentialing bridging program students.
When I returned to school to complete my doctoral degree in 2016, I choose to understand the experiences of lesbian birth mothers better as they seek maternity care. My research will tell the stories of lesbian birth mothers, helping healthcare providers to ‘see’ what it is like to receive care from the perspective of being a lesbian birth mother. This type of research can assist nurses, doctors, and midwives in planning inclusive maternity services; while identifying areas for further education development for maternity health care professionals/students to care for lesbian birth mothers and their families effectively, safely, and compassionately.