Communicating choice: an exploration of mothers’ experiences of birth

Journal article


Hallam, Jenny, Howard, Chris, Locke, Abigail and Thomas, Melissa 2016. Communicating choice: an exploration of mothers’ experiences of birth. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2015.1119260
AuthorsHallam, Jenny, Howard, Chris, Locke, Abigail and Thomas, Melissa
Abstract

Birth is a significant life event for many women that can have profound, long lasting effects on how they see themselves as women and mothers. Within the literature the importance of control over the birth experience and the support that the birthing woman receives from midwives is stressed. This paper gives an in-depth insight into the ways in which communication between midwives and the birthing woman shape the birth experience. Six women who had recently given birth participated in one to one semi-structured interviews designed to explore the kinds of support they received before, during and after their birth. An inductive thematic analysis was employed in order to identify and explore key issues which ran throughout the interviews. Within the interviews the importance of being an active mother, someone who made decisions in relation to her labour, was stressed. The analysis explores the ways in which communication style and compassionate care either enabled or prevented women from adopting the position of ‘active’ mother. It is argued that a personal connection with midwives and clear and open communication which places the birthing woman in a position of control are key to positive birth experiences.

Keywordsbirth; active mother; qualitative methods
Year2016
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
ISSN0264-6838
1469-672X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2015.1119260
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/619014
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
hdl:10545/619014
Publication dates19 Jan 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Aug 2016, 10:27
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Archived with thanks to Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

ContributorsUNiversity of Derby
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