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"It's like a puzzle": Pregnant women's perceptions of professional support in midwifery care
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. Skaraborg Hospital Skövde, Woman, Child (K3), Skövde, Sweden / Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, CHILD-Research Group, Jönköping, Sweden. (Kvinna, barn och familj (WomFam), Woman, Child and Family)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3347-482X
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. (Kvinna, barn och familj (WomFam), Woman, Child and Family)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0079-3966
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, CHILD-Research Group, Jönköping, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. (Kvinna, barn och familj (WomFam), Woman, Child and Family)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7510-606X
2016 (English)In: Women and Birth, ISSN 1871-5192, E-ISSN 1878-1799, Vol. 29, no 6, p. e110-e118Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ProblemPregnant women are not always satisfied with the professional support they receive during their midwifery care. More knowledge is needed to understand what professional support pregnant women need for childbirth and parenting.

BackgroundChildbearing and the transition to becoming a parent is a sensitive period in one's life during which one should have the opportunity to receive professional support. Professional support does not always correspond to pregnant women's needs. To understand pregnant women's needs for professional support within midwifery care, it is crucial to further illuminate women's experiences of this support.

AimTo explore pregnant women's perceptions of professional support in midwifery care.

MethodsA qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Fifteen women were interviewed during gestational weeks 36–38. Data was analysed using phenomenography.

FindingsThe women perceived professional support in midwifery care to be reassuring and emotional, to consist of reliable information, and to be mediated with pedagogical creativity. The professional support facilitated new social contacts, partner involvement and contributed to mental preparedness. The findings of the study were presented in six categories and the category Professional support contributes to mental preparedness was influenced by the five other categories.

ConclusionPregnant women prepare for childbirth and parenting by using several different types of professional support in midwifery care: a strategy that could be described as piecing together a puzzle. When the women put the puzzle together, each type of professional support works as a valuable piece in the whole puzzle. Through this, professional support could contribute to women's mental preparedness for childbirth and parenting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 29, no 6, p. e110-e118
Keywords [en]
Professional support, Midwife, Pregnant, Women, Childbirth
National Category
Nursing Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12266DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2016.04.011ISI: 000393092900003PubMedID: 27199171Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84967104270OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-12266DiVA, id: diva2:929662
Projects
FöräldrastödstudienAvailable from: 2016-05-19 Created: 2016-05-19 Last updated: 2018-04-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Professional and social support for first-time mothers and partners during childbearing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professional and social support for first-time mothers and partners during childbearing
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Expecting a child and becoming a parent is one of life’s major events, during which the parents’ perspective on life and their couple relationship changes. For some parents, childbearing entails a decrease in parental couple relationship quality. The way in which parents are able to cope with childbearing may be connected with their Sense of Coherence; which is a person’s ability to perceive life as comprehensible, manageable and meaningful. For parents’ positive childbearing experiences, professional and social support have been proven to be valuable. However, far from all parents have access to social support; furthermore, professional support does not always meet the needs of expectant parents. Hence, more research is needed to increase knowledge about expectant parents’ experiences of professiona land social support. In addition, more research is needed to explore factors associated with quality of couple relationship among parents during childbearing.

Aims: The overall aim of the thesis was to explore professional and social support for first-time mothers and partners during childbearing in relation toquality of couple relationship and Sense of Coherence.

Methods: The study’s designs were explorative, prospective and longitudinal; both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Specifically, explorative designs, qualitative methods and phenomenographic analysis were used to explore expectant first-time mothers’ (I) and partners’ perceptions of professional support (II). Furthermore, an explorative design, qualitative method and qualitative content analysis were used to explore expectant first-time mothers’ experiences of social support (III). Within Study IV, a prospective longitudinal design, descriptive statistics, non-parametric tests and multiple linear regression analysis were used to evaluate factors associated with quality of couple relationship among first-time mothers and partners, during pregnancy and the first six months of parenthood.

Results: The overall results of the thesis revealed both similarities and differences between expectant first-time mothers’ and partners’ perceptions of professional support, effects from social support and associated factors with perceived quality of couple relationship. The similarities were; both mothers and partners perceived that professional support could facilitate partner involvement, influence their couple relationship and facilitate contacts with other expectant parents. According to first-time mothers’ experiences, their couple relationship with their partner was also strengthened by social support during pregnancy. Further, the results showed that both first-time mothers’ and partners’ higher perceived couple relationship quality six months after birth, was associated with their higher perceived social support. The results showed also that both mothers and partners perceived their quality of couple relationship to decrease and Sense of Coherence to increase six months after childbirth, compared to the pregnancy. Differences revealed were such as: higher Sense of Coherence was only associated with mothers’ higher perceived quality of couple relationship, and first-time mothers reported perceiving more social support compared to the partners both during pregnancy, first week and six months after childbirth.

Conclusions: Professional and social support can strengthen first-time mothers and partners both individually and as a couple, in their abilities to cope with childbearing. On the individual basis, the expectant parents could be strengthened through professional and social support that contributed to their understanding and feeling of being prepared for childbirth and parenting, for instance. As a couple, the parents were strengthened by professional support that included the partner’s role, as well as higher perceived social support overall. In contrast, lack of support could have a negative influence on the expectant parents’ feeling of being prepared for childbirth and parenting. Besides this, the results indicates that childbearing has a positive effect on parents’ abilities to cope with life even though their quality of couple relationship decrease. Professionals can use these results in their further understanding about how to offer satisfactory support to first-time mothers and partners during childbearing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, 2018. p. 108
Series
Dissertation Series. School of Health and Welfare, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 086
Keywords
Pregnancy, Childbirth, Couple Relationship, Parent, Father, Co-mother, Sense of Coherence
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15003 (URN)978-91-85835-85-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-02-02, Insikten, Portalen, Kanikegränd 3, Skövde, 13:00 (Swedish)
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Supervisors
Note

Delarbeten 1. “It's like a puzzle”: Pregnant women's perceptions of professional support in midwifery care 2. 'To be able to support her, I must feel calm and safe': Pregnant women's partners perceptions of professional support during pregnancy 3. ‘It makes you feel like you are not alone’: Expectant first-time mothers’ experiences of social support within the social network, when preparing for childbirth and parenting 4. Quality of couple relationship among first-time mothers and partners,during pregnancy and the first six months of parenthood (Preprint. Resubmitted, December 2017)

Available from: 2018-04-04 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2018-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Bäckström, Caroline A.Mårtensson, Lena B.Thorstensson, Stina A.

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