BRCA and Motherhood: A Matter of Time and Timing

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8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The threat of cancer and the effects of risk-reducing surgery can have a significant impact on family planning and family life. In this qualitative study, we examine intersecting experiences of BRCA carrier status, subsequent risk-reducing surgery, and motherhood by analyzing in-depth interviews with 16 Jewish, Israeli mothers (ages 36–57) who underwent risk-reducing mastectomies and/or oophorectomies. Time emerged as a prism through which the BRCA motherhood experience could be viewed. In the “Findings” section, we present concepts of BRCA time and maternal time through three subthemes: (a) objective and subjective fertility clocks and BRCA: the child who won’t be born; (b) synchronizing the clocks: the “correct” tempo and chronology; and (c) back to the future: intergenerational coalescence of time. We discuss the notions of time and existential health threats and subjective time in the primary mother–infant relational system within the context of the cultural ideal of the “motherhood myth.”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-835
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • BRCA
  • Israel
  • embodied time
  • maternal time
  • motherhood and health
  • motherhood myth
  • phenomenology

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