To gain a deeper understanding of women's thoughts and experiences regarding informed choices during childbirth.
A qualitative approach with individual in-depth interviews was chosen for data collection. Ten women were interviewed three to four weeks after the birth of their first child. The transcribed interviews were analysed using systematic text condensation.
Two main themes emerged based on the analysis: "women's resources and coping abilities" and "women's abilities to make informed choices during birth". Women's resources and coping abilities influenced how they retrieved information and made their own choices. Their abilities to make informed choices during birth were influenced by the course of the birth process and the fact that they were patients and submitted to the hospitals' routines.
Instead of using the term "informed choice", women in this study discussed involvement, participation and being heard and seen as individuals. How receptive women are to information during birth varies, and midwives play an important role during pregnancy in informing and encouraging them. The relationship between women and midwives influences women's abilities to make informed choices during birth. Women need individual care and should be encouraged to have realistic expectations and to gain knowledge and confidence in their ability to give birth. A model of care in which women experience greater continuity will have an impact on their expectations, decision-making and experience of birth.
Antenatal education in small classes may increase childbirth self-efficacy. In this randomised trial we assessed the effect of a structured antenatal programme versus auditorium-based lectures on childbirth self-efficacy measured by three single items. We found that women in the intervention group reported statistically significant higher levels of confidence in their ability to cope at home during labour compared to the control group. Likewise, the intervention had a positive effect on the women's confidence in own ability to handle the birth process.
Antenatal anxiety symptoms are not only a health problem for the expectant mother. Research has found that maternal anxiety may also have an impact on the developing baby. Therefore, it is important to estimate the prevalence of maternal anxiety and associated factors. The current study aims to estimate the prevalence of anxiety symptoms during the first trimester of pregnancy and to identify associated risk factors. Secondly, to investigate other factors associated with anxiety during early pregnancy including fear of childbirth and a preference for cesarean section. In a population-based community sample of 1,175 pregnant women, 916 women (78%) were investigated in the first trimester (gestation week 8-12). The Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS-A) was used to measure anxiety symptoms. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms (HADS-A scores=8 during pregnancy) was 15.6% in early pregnancy. Women under 25 years of age were at an increased risk of anxiety symptoms during early pregnancy (OR 2.6, CI 1.7-4.0). Women who reported a language other than Swedish as their native language (OR 4.2, CI 2.7-7.0), reported high school as their highest level of education (OR 1.6, CI 1.1-2.3), were unemployed (OR 3.5, CI 2.1-5.8), used nicotine before pregnancy (OR 1.7, CI 1.1-2.5), and had a self-reported psychiatric history of either depression (OR 3.8, CI 2.6-5.6) or anxiety (OR 5.2, CI 3.5-7.9) before their current pregnancy were all at an increased risk of anxiety symptoms during early pregnancy. Anxiety symptoms during pregnancy increased the rate of fear of birth (OR 3.0, CI 1.9-4.7) and a preference for cesarean section (OR 1.7, CI 1.0-2.8). Caregivers should pay careful attention to history of mental illness to be able to identify women with symptoms of anxiety during early pregnancy. When presenting with symptoms of anxiety, the women might need counseling and or treatment in order to decrease her anxiety.
Findings from animal and human studies indicate that anxiety and stress have a negative influence on the child and mother. The aim of this study was to explore the risk for having an anxiety diagnosis and the impact of the diagnosis in a three generational perspective.
The information was retrieved from Swedish population-based registries. All women who gave birth between 1973 and 1977 (n 169,782), their daughters (n 244,152), and subsequently also the offspring of the daughters (n 381,953) were followed until 2013.
We found that 4% of the mothers and 6% of the grandmothers had been diagnosed with anxiety. Women who had mothers with an anxiety disorder were more than twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder themselves compared to all other women (OR?=?2.20, 95% CI?=?2.04-2.30). In the third generation, the children born to mothers with an anxiety disorder, the odds ratio of being diagnosed with anxiety was more than twice as high than for the rest of the population (OR?=?2.54, 95% CI?=?2.01-3.20). If both the mother and the grandmother had had an anxiety disorder the odds ratio for the child having a diagnosis of anxiety was three times higher (OR?=?3.11, 95% CI?=?2.04-4.75). Anxiety diagnosis in the two previous generations also increased the likelihood of the child having either more than two inpatient visits or more than 10 outpatient visits (OR?=?2.64, 95% CI?=?2.40-2.91 and OR?=?2.21, 95% CI?=?2.01-2.43, respectively).
The intergenerational effect on anxiety is high. In order to minimize the risk for further transmission of anxiety disorders, increased awareness and generous use of effective treatment regimes might be of importance.
We examined constructions of labor and birth for 461 Canadian women who attended the University of British Columbia (Canada) and participated in an online survey about pregnancy and birth, using a combination of Likert items and open-ended questions. We performed a content analysis of women's open-ended responses about their feelings toward birth and analyzed comments of women with high and low fear of childbirth separately. Students with high fear of birth described childbirth as a frightening and painful ordeal and viewed obstetric interventions as a means to make labor and birth more manageable. Students with low fear constructed birth as a natural event and regarded interventions more critically. Students in both groups supported women's autonomous maternity care decisions. Our findings contribute to care providers' and educators' knowledge about preferences and fears expressed by the next generation of maternity care consumers and potential strategies to reduce their fear of childbirth.
Sexual and Reproductive Health, Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå SE-901 87, Sweden; The Graduate School of Gender Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To elicit pregnant women's perceptions of childbirth as expressed in their birth plans, and through a feminist lens analyse their wishes, fears, values, and beliefs about childbirth, as well as their expectations on partner and midwife.
This study used qualitative content analysis, identifying subcategories, categories, and an overall theme in data gathered from women's written birth plans. A feminist theoretical framework underpinned the research.
A middle-sized city in northern Sweden.
132 women who gave birth in an obstetrician-led hospital labour ward between March and June 2016 and consented to grant access to their birth plans and antenatal and intrapartum electronic medical records.
Three categories emerged: 'Keeping integrity intact through specific requests and continuous dialogue with the midwife', 'A preference towards a midwife-supported birth regardless of method of pain relief", and '"Help my partner help me" - Women anticipating partner involvement.' The overall theme linking the categories together was: 'Autonomous and dependent - The dichotomy of birth', portraying women's ambiguity before birth -expressing a wish to remain in control while simultaneously letting go of control by entrusting partner and midwifewith decision-making regarding their own bodies.
Women primarily desired a natural, midwife-supported birth and favoured a relationship-based, woman-centred model of care, based on the close interaction between woman, partner, and midwife. Midwives need to be aware of women's ambiguous reliance on them and the power they have to influence women's birth choices and birth experiences. Feminist theory and values in midwifery practice may be useful to inspire a maternity care based on women's wishes and expectations, acknowledging and valuing women's voices, and embracing the sanctity of birth and of the birthing woman's body.
Early labour is the very first phase of the labour process and is considered to be a period of time when no professional attendance is needed. However there is a high frequency of women who seek care at the delivery wards during this phase. When a woman is admitted to the delivery ward, one role for midwives is to determine whether the woman is in established labour or not. If the woman is assessed as being in early labour she will probably then be advised to return home. This recommendation is made due to past research that found that the longer a woman is in hospital the higher the risk for complications for her and her child. Women have described how this situation leaves them in a vulnerable situation where their preferences are not always met and where they are not always included in the decision-making process.
The aim of this study was to generate a theory based on where a woman chooses to be during the early labour process and to increase our understanding about how experiences can differ from place to place.
The method was a secondary analysis with grounded theory. The data used in the analysis was from two qualitative interview studies and 37 transcripts.
The findings revealed a substantive theory that women needed to be in a safe and thus secure place during early labour. This theory also describes the interplay between how women ascribed their meaning of childbirth as either a natural live event or a medical one, how this influenced where they wanted to be during early labour, and how that chosen place influenced their experiences of labour and birth.
It has been established that the birthing experiences and outcomes of rural women are shaped by poverty, isolation, limited economic opportunities, and diminishing maternity services. We lack research into how these dynamics are compounded by intersecting forms of oppression faced by Aboriginal women, to impact on their birthing experiences and outcomes. The findings of this study of rural Aboriginal maternity care in 4 communities in British Columbia show how diminishing local birthing choices and women's struggles to exert power, choice, and control are influenced by centuries of colonization. The research questions focus on rural Aboriginal women's experiences of birthing and maternity care in this neocolonial context and their desire for supportive birthing environments. A community-based participatory and ethnographic design was employed. Individual interviews, focus groups, and participant observation were the primary data sources. Although the women's experiences in each community were shaped by distinct histories and traditions, economics, politics, and geographies, the impacts of colonization and medical paternalism and the struggle for control of women's bodies during birth intersect, placing additional stress on women. The implications for nurses of accounting for the intersecting dynamics that shape Aboriginal women's experiences and birth outcomes are discussed.
To describe Canadian nulliparous women's attitudes to birth technology and their roles in childbirth.
A large convenience sample of low-risk women expecting their first birth was recruited by posters in laboratories, at the offices of obstetricians, family physicians, and midwives, at prenatal classes, and through web-based advertising and invited to complete a paper or web-based questionnaire.
Of the 1318 women completing the questionnaire, 95% did so via the web-based method; 13.2% of respondents were in the first trimester, 39.8% were in the second trimester, and 47.0% in the third. Overall, 42.6% were under the care of an obstetrician, 29.3% a family physician, and 28.1% a registered midwife. The sample included mainly well-educated, middle-class women. The planned place of giving birth ranged from home to hospital, and from rural centres to large city hospitals. Eighteen percent planned to engage a doula. Women attending obstetricians reported attitudes more favourable to the use of birth technology and less supportive of women's roles in their own delivery, regardless of the trimester in which the survey was completed. Those women attending midwives reported attitudes less favourable to the use of technology at delivery and more supportive of women's roles. Family practice patients' opinions fell between the other two groups. For eight of the questions, "I don't know" (IDK) responses exceeded 15%. These IDK responses were most frequent for questions regarding risks and benefits of epidural analgesia, Caesarean section, and episiotomy. Women in the care of midwives consistently used IDK options less frequently than those cared for by physicians.
Regardless of the type of care provider they attended, many women reported uncertainty about the benefits and risks of common procedures used at childbirth. When grouped by the type of care provider, in all trimesters, women held different views across a range of childbirth issues, suggesting that the three groups of providers were caring for different populations with different attitudes and expectations.