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Norwegian women's motivations and preparations for freebirth—A qualitative study

Journal article
Authors Lena Henriksen
Maria Nordström
Ingeborg Nordheim
Ingela Lundgren
Ellen Blix
Published in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Volume 25
ISSN 18775756
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Keywords Freebirth, Homebirth, Maternity care, Qualitative methods, Unassisted childbirth
Subject categories Reproductive health, Nursing, Other Medical Sciences


© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Aim: This study was aimed at describing Norwegian women's motivations and preparations for freebirth. Methods: This qualitative study involved 12 individual interviews conducted face to face or via Skype with women from different parts of Norway. The material was analysed using qualitative content analysis inspired by Graneheim and Lundman. Results: Three categories describing the women's motivations and preparations for freebirth were identified. Unsatisfied with the care offered today described how the women thought that hospitals did not support normal birth and made an inadequate homebirth offer. The category earlier uncomplicated and traumatic births influence freebirth choices described two different dimensions of motivations for freebirth. Trust in one's own knowledge and capacity referred to how women viewed birth as a natural process, their faith in themselves, how this view and faith influenced their preparation and how they gained knowledge about the birth process to prepare. An overall theme emerged: deep trust in birth as a natural process and the women's own capacity to give birth embedded in distrust of the maternity care system. Conclusion: This study showed that motivations for freebirth were embedded in overall dissatisfaction with today's maternity care, the inadequate homebirth offer and deep trust in the women's own capacity to give birth.

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