The Journey to Solo Motherhood - An explorative study

Anette Werner*, Karen Frydenrejn Funderskov, Marie Konge Nielsen, Henriette Mørkholm, Dorthe Boe Danbjørn, Mette Juel Rothmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: In high-income countries, the number of women who choose to become single mothers is rising. This trend is also reflected in Denmark. The aim of this study was to explore the decision- making process of becoming a solo mother. Study design: This study was designed as an explorative, qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted face to face or by telephone, to explore women's thoughts and experiences of becoming solo mothers. A systematic text condensation and interpretation were used to analyze the interview material. Results: Twenty solo mothers-to-be participated in the study and 38 interviews were conducted, before and after pregnancy. Four themes related to the journey of solo motherhood emerged from the data analysis: The dream of motherhood in a nuclear family – a shattered dream, Achieving socio-emotional acceptance, approaching motherhood with a comprehensive plan, and the fatherless child. Conclusion: The nuclear family was considered as the ideal family among our participants. The decision to become solo mother was characterized by a long process of reorganizing ideas about a family. In the effort to feel more secure about being a solo parent, to control the process and reduce vulnerability, most women drew up a detailed motherhood plan, even before embarking on the project.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100586
JournalSexual & Reproductive HealthCare
Volume27
ISSN1877-5756
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Motherhood
  • Single mother by choice
  • Solo mother
  • Solo motherhood

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