What women emphasise as important aspects of care in childbirth - an online survey

Vedeler, Carina, Nilsen, Anne Britt Vika, Blix, Ellen, Downe, Soo orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2848-2550 and Eri, Tine S. (2022) What women emphasise as important aspects of care in childbirth - an online survey. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 129 (4). pp. 647-655. ISSN 1470-0328

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16926


Objective To explore and describe what women who have given birth in Norway emphasise as important aspects of care during childbirth. Design The study is based on data from the Babies Born Better survey, version 2, a mixed-method online survey. Setting The maternity care system in Norway. Study population Women who gave birth in Norway between 2013 and 2018. Method Descriptive statistics were used to describe sample characteristics and to compare data from the B3 survey with national data from the MBRN, using SPSS® software (version 20). The open-ended questions were analysed with an inductive thematic analysis, using NVIVO 12® software. Main outcome measures Themes developed from two open-ended questions. Results The final sample included 8,401 women. There were no important differences between the sample population and the national population with respect to maternal age, marital status, parity, mode of birth and place of birth, except for the proportion of planned homebirths. Four themes and one overarching theme were identified; Compassionate and Respectful Care, A Family Focus, Continuity and Consistency, and Sense of Security, and the overarching theme Coherence in Childbearing. Conclusions Socio-cultural and psychological aspects of care are significant for women in childbirth, alongside physical and clinical factors. Caring for the woman implies caring for her partner and having a baby is about ‘becoming a family or expanding the family’. Childbirth is a continuous experience in women’s lives and continuity and consistency are important for women to maintain and promote a coherent experience.

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