Do women's ideas of 'normal' birth match those held by professionals?

Edwards, A. and Conduit, J. (2011) Do women's ideas of 'normal' birth match those held by professionals? British Journal of Midwifery, 19 (11). pp. 720-728. ISSN 0969-4900

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Aim: To explore the definitions of normal birth held by women who have not given birth, what influences that perspective, and compare it with those of health professionals. Background: Available evidence provides conflicting definitions of normal childbirth. The majority of available evidence encapsulates the views of the health professionals themselves or women who have experienced childbirth. Little evidence exists that reflects the views of women yet to experience childbirth. Method: Six participants were identified via purposive sampling to undertake a small exploratory qualitative study utilizing semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Ethical approval was obtained. Results: The definition of normal birth is individual and complex. The absence of complications and use of interventions influenced this definition, which in part agrees with health professionals' current definitions. Birth was perceived as a scary prospect; a view largely constructed from negative stories from friends and family. Conclusions: The findings suggest that working within the confines of a definition of 'normal' childbirth is far from straightforward. It highlights a need to encourage women to view birth more positively. Expanding this research further would explore these issues in more detail, providing more conclusive evidence to support practice.

Item Type: Article
November 2011Published
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-04 - nursing and midwifery > CAH02-04-01 - nursing (non-specific)
CAH01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01-01 - medical sciences (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Depositing User: Hussen Farooq
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2017 14:30
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:38

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