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Exploring Professional Support Offered by Midwives during Labour: An Observation and Interview Study

Conference contribution
Authors Stina Thorstensson
Anette Ekström
Ingela Lundgren
Elisabeth Hertfelt Wahn
Published in Optimising Childbirth Across Europe, 9-10 April 2014. Brussels, Belgium.
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Links optimise2014.exordo.com/data/abstra...
Keywords support, midwifery, childbirth
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences

Abstract

Background: Support in labour has an impact on the childbirth experience as well as on childbirth outcomes. Both social and professional support is needed. Increased understanding for professional support is important to develop care in childbirth Aim: of this study was to explore professional support offered by midwives during labour in relation to the supportive needs of the childbearing woman and her partner. Method: The study used a qualitative, inductive design using triangulation, with observation followed by interviews. Seven midwives were observed when caring for seven women/couples in labour. After the observations, individual interviews with midwives, women, and their partners were conducted. Data were analysed using hermeneutical text interpretation. Ethical approval: Approval was received from the Regional Ethics Committee before data collection started. Findings: are presented with three themes. (1) Support as a professional task seems unclear and less well defined than medical controls. (2)Midwives and parents express somewhat different supportive ideas about how to create a sense of security. (3) Partner and midwife interact in support of the childbearing woman. The main interpretation shows that midwives’ supportive role during labour could be understood as them mainly adopting the “with institution” ideology in contrast to the “with woman” ideology. Conclusion: That midwifes mainly adopted the “with institution” ideology may increase the risk of childbearing women and their partners perceiving lack of support during labour. There is a need to increase efficiency by providing support for professionals to adopt the “with woman” ideology.

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