A provoking choice : Swedish women's experiences of reactions to their plans to give birth at home

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A provoking choice : Swedish women's experiences of reactions to their plans to give birth at home

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title A provoking choice : Swedish women's experiences of reactions to their plans to give birth at home
Author(s) Sjöblom, Ingela ; Idvall, Ewa ; Rådestad, Ingela ; Lindgren, Helena
Date 2012
English abstract
Objective The home birth rate in Sweden is less than 1 in 1000, and home birth is not included within the health care system. This study describes women's experiences concerning reactions to their decision to give birth at home. Design and setting A nationwide survey (SHE – Swedish Homebirth Experience) in Sweden was conducted between 1992 and 2005 whereas 735 women had given birth to 1038 children. Of 1038 questionnaires 1025 were returned. Measurements In the questionnaires an open-ended question asked women to report their experience of reactions to their decision to give birth at home The question was answered by 594 women, and data were analysed using content analysis. Findings The analysis yielded one overarching theme; “To be faced with fear for life and death” including being exposed to reactions about risks. This describes attitudes of professionals and family towards life and death and suggests perceptions of risk and fear of unexpected events. Four main categories were identified; Seen as an irresponsible person, Met with emotional arguments, Exposed to persuasion and Alienation. Conclusion Women who plan for a home birth were confronted with negative attitudes and persuasion to make them change their mind. This made them feel alienated, and they searched for support among like-minded. Negative attitudes from health care professionals may erode their confidence in conventional health services and turn them towards other options. Implication for practice Women who want to give birth at home should be given evidence-based information about risks and benefits. Enhanced knowledge among public and professionals about home births would improve the options for respectful encounters.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2011.07.147 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Elsevier
Host/Issue Women and Birth;3
ISSN 1871-5192
Pages e11–e18
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Home birth
Reactions
Treatment
Risks
Medicine
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12416 (link to this page)

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