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Women's Perceptions of Contributory Factors for Successful Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

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BACKGROUND: In July 2008, a new midwife-led “Next Birth After Cesarean” (NBAC) service was launched at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) in Perth, Western Australia. Midwives from the NBAC service provide antenatal care, evidence-based information about birth choices, tailored birth preparation classes, and assistance with developing birth plans to pregnant women who have had a previous cesarean birth.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the contributory factors that women who were cared for by the NBAC service and experienced a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) perceived to be associated with achieving their desired mode of birth.

METHODS: A qualitative descriptive approach was used for this study in which semistructured interviews were conducted with 13 participant women who have achieved a VBAC and were analyzed using a modified “constant comparison” technique.

FINDINGS: Two key themes reflecting personal and professional factors comprising eight subthemes emerged from analysis of interview data.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings offer a unique perspective on the phenomenon of achieving a VBAC and provide maternity care practitioners and policy makers around the world with valuable insights into how the care environment might be enhanced for women who would prefer a vaginal birth after their previous cesarean section.
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Keywords: CHILDBIRTH; PERCEPTION; QUALITATIVE EVALUATION; VBAC

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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