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Speaking out! : qualitative insights on the experience of mothers who wanted a vaginal birth after a birth by cesarean section

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Pamela Mcgrath, Emma Phillips, G Vaughan
Background: Despite the documented rise in the rates of births by cesarean section (CS) in Australia, there is scant work on the psycho-social aspects of such birth choices. To address the lack of research on this topic, this article presents a subset of findings from a research project that explored, from the mothers' perspectives, the birthing experience and process of decision making about the mode of delivery for a subsequent birth after a previous CS. Objective: The focus of this article is on the subset of findings that recorded the frustration of women who valued a vaginal delivery but who delivered by CS. Methods: The study utilized descriptive phenomenology, with in-depth, open-ended interviews conducted with the research participants. The setting was a small regional hospital in Queensland, Australia, with about 20% of patients managed on the midwifery model of care. This article is based on the subset of findings that record the frustration of women (eight mothers of a total participant group of 20) who valued a vaginal delivery but who delivered by CS. The women all had a previous CS and had a subsequent birth at the Redland Hospital 6 weeks prior to the interviews, which were held in June 2008. Results: The findings establish that this group of mothers felt frustrated by their body's inability to give birth naturally, disappointed that they had no option but a CS, and carried emotional pain about the unfairness of the judgment that they should have achieved a vaginal birth after a birth by CS. Conclusions: These women expressed a strong desire to have their story told. It is the hope and expectation that this article will enable their voice to be heard and, in so doing, make a contribution towards deepening our understanding of the multiplicity of perspectives that women bring to their birthing experiences. The findings are a strong argument against any generalization that women who opt for an elective CS are doing so simply for reasons of ease and convenience.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

3

Issue

1

Start Page

25

End Page

32

Number of Pages

8

eISSN

1178-1653

ISSN

1178-1661

Location

New Zealand

Publisher

WAdis International

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

  • No

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR); International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research;

Era Eligible

  • No

Journal

Patient.

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