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Women's experience of midwife-led counselling and its influence on childbirth fear : A qualitative study

Larsson, Birgitta; Hildingsson, Ingegerd; Ternström, Elin; Rubertsson, Christine LU and Karlström, Annika (2018) In Women and Birth
Abstract

Background: Women with childbirth fear have been offered counseling by experienced midwives in Sweden for decades without evidence for its effectiveness, in terms of decrease in childbirth fear. Women are usually satisfied with the counselling. However, there is a lack of qualitative data regarding women's views about counselling for childbirth fear. Aim: To explore women's experiences of midwife-led counselling for childbirth fear. Method: A qualitative interview study using thematic analysis. Twenty-seven women assessed for childbirth fear who had received counselling during pregnancy at three different hospitals in Sweden were interviewed by telephone one to two years after birth. Findings: The overarching theme ‘Midwife-led... (More)

Background: Women with childbirth fear have been offered counseling by experienced midwives in Sweden for decades without evidence for its effectiveness, in terms of decrease in childbirth fear. Women are usually satisfied with the counselling. However, there is a lack of qualitative data regarding women's views about counselling for childbirth fear. Aim: To explore women's experiences of midwife-led counselling for childbirth fear. Method: A qualitative interview study using thematic analysis. Twenty-seven women assessed for childbirth fear who had received counselling during pregnancy at three different hospitals in Sweden were interviewed by telephone one to two years after birth. Findings: The overarching theme ‘Midwife-led counselling brought positive feelings and improved confidence in birth’ was identified. This consisted of four themes describing ‘the importance of the midwife’ and ‘a mutual and strengthening dialogue’ during pregnancy. ‘Coping strategies and support enabled a positive birth’ represent women's experiences during birth and ‘being prepared for a future birth’ were the women's thoughts of a future birth. Conclusions: In this qualitative study, women reported that midwife-led counselling improved their confidence for birth through information and knowledge. The women experienced a greater sense of calm and preparedness, which increased the tolerance for the uncertainty related to the birthing process. This, in turn, positively affected the birth experience. Combined with a feeling of safety, which was linked to the professional support during birth, the women felt empowered. The positive birth experience strengthened the self-confidence for a future birth and the childbirth fear was described as reduced or manageable.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Childbirth fear, Counselling, Experience, Midwifery, Qualitative research
in
Women and Birth
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85046132339
ISSN
1871-5192
DOI
10.1016/j.wombi.2018.04.008
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1655c745-5160-45af-a622-c1996bc84299
date added to LUP
2018-05-16 13:57:41
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:11:01
@article{1655c745-5160-45af-a622-c1996bc84299,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Women with childbirth fear have been offered counseling by experienced midwives in Sweden for decades without evidence for its effectiveness, in terms of decrease in childbirth fear. Women are usually satisfied with the counselling. However, there is a lack of qualitative data regarding women's views about counselling for childbirth fear. Aim: To explore women's experiences of midwife-led counselling for childbirth fear. Method: A qualitative interview study using thematic analysis. Twenty-seven women assessed for childbirth fear who had received counselling during pregnancy at three different hospitals in Sweden were interviewed by telephone one to two years after birth. Findings: The overarching theme ‘Midwife-led counselling brought positive feelings and improved confidence in birth’ was identified. This consisted of four themes describing ‘the importance of the midwife’ and ‘a mutual and strengthening dialogue’ during pregnancy. ‘Coping strategies and support enabled a positive birth’ represent women's experiences during birth and ‘being prepared for a future birth’ were the women's thoughts of a future birth. Conclusions: In this qualitative study, women reported that midwife-led counselling improved their confidence for birth through information and knowledge. The women experienced a greater sense of calm and preparedness, which increased the tolerance for the uncertainty related to the birthing process. This, in turn, positively affected the birth experience. Combined with a feeling of safety, which was linked to the professional support during birth, the women felt empowered. The positive birth experience strengthened the self-confidence for a future birth and the childbirth fear was described as reduced or manageable.</p>},
  author       = {Larsson, Birgitta and Hildingsson, Ingegerd and Ternström, Elin and Rubertsson, Christine and Karlström, Annika},
  issn         = {1871-5192},
  keyword      = {Childbirth fear,Counselling,Experience,Midwifery,Qualitative research},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Women and Birth},
  title        = {Women's experience of midwife-led counselling and its influence on childbirth fear : A qualitative study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2018.04.008},
  year         = {2018},
}