Being a unique phase in human life, the period of gestation is generally associated with mixed feelings: pleasant ideals of motherhood coupled with emotions of vulnerability and distress. The significance of the antenatal period in determining the quality of relationship between parent and child is well documented. Pregnancy and childbirth are ideal contexts for enriching the spirituality of expecting couples and their families. Moreover, specific pregnancy related practices prevalent in almost all major religions indicate the significance of careful accompaniment during this pivotal phase with respect to physiological, psychological, and spiritual realms. In this context, by adopting a qualitative method design, the dissertation aims to offer a unique spiritual pregnancy companion (WOMBCAT) for expecting couples to use.
Employing thematic analysis approach, the unique spiritual pregnancy practices of a few distinctive catholic families are explored in depth. Simultaneously, Biblical tradition and authentic church teachings related to marriage and family as well as those from the life of saints are identified and synthesized. Incorporating both findings and teachings, WOMBCAT is evolved as a ready-to-use material from the day of matrimony of the couple to the sacrament of baptism of the child. As a companion, WOMBCAT is expected to help the couple to deepen their spirituality and religiosity, gracefully dealing with pregnancy-related physiological and psychological struggles. Moreover, it offers maximal spiritual nourishment to the baby in the womb, along with a holistic development, and strengthens the bonding among family members by celebrating their pregnancy.