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Assessing women's sexual life after childbirth: the role of the postnatal check
Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Caring Science, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden / Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden / School of Health Science, University College of Borås, Borås, Sweden.
The Red Cross University College, Stockholm, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 27, no 2, 195-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: to describe midwives' reflections on counselling women at the postnatal check with special focus on sexual life after childbirth. Design: qualitative descriptive study with focus group discussions as the method of data collection. Setting: antenatal clinics in Stockholm greater catchments' area. Participants: during 2006 and 2007, a voluntary sample of midwives from 10 different antenatal clinics were invited. Analysis: content analysis was undertaken through identification of codes, categories and themes. Findings: Two themes emerged: balancing between personal perceptions of the woman's needs and the health system restrictions and strategies for counselling about sexual life after childbirth'. The midwives tried to create a picture for themselves of the woman coming for the postnatal check and her needs before the consulation. This picture guided the midwives, but lack of time and knowledge restricted them when counselling on sexual life after childbirth. Two different strategies in counselling were identified, one task-oriented and one subject-oriented. Demands and time restrictions led midwives to distance themselves from their clients. A task-oriented approach was more visible in midwives' encounters with foreign-born women, where linguistic difficulties, cultural diversity and narrow time frames restricted the midwives' effectiveness and/or sensitivity as caregivers. In contrast, the subject-oriented strategy meant 'getting in tune', i.e. listening to the woman when she expressed her feelings and emotions, encouraging the woman to be an active participant in decisions involving her care. This strategy is used for women who arouse midwives' empathy and when there is some form of recognition and understanding. Conclusion: The picture created of the woman and her needs guided the midwives, but lack of knowledge and time limitations restricted counselling on sexual life after childbirth. Two counselling strategies were identified, one task-oriented and one subject-oriented. Balancing these two counselling strategies improves both the ethical aspects and the quality of the counselling. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 27, no 2, 195-202 p.
Keyword [en]
Postnatal visit, Sexual life, Midwifery care, Focus group
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-5549DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2009.04.003ISI: 000289071200014PubMedID: 19570597Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79953222666OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-5549DiVA: diva2:508313
Available from: 2012-03-08 Created: 2012-03-01 Last updated: 2013-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textPubMedScopushttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2009.04.003

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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