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Contemporary Women's Perceptions of Childbirth Education

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The purpose of this grounded theory study was to describe and understand contemporary childbearing women's perceptions of the role of childbirth education in preparing for birth. Participants were interviewed three times: prior to beginning classes, at the end of classes, and within 2 weeks after giving birth. Constant comparative analysis of the data was concurrent with data collection. The core process that emerged was “Negotiating the Journey,” with supporting categories of “Exploring the Unknown,” “Making It Real,” and “Sensing the Readiness.” The findings indicated that, for contemporary women, the value of childbirth education may not be in affecting physiological birth outcomes but rather in helping them to be ready for childbirth and, thereby, completing an important developmental milestone.

Keywords: childbirth; childbirth education; grounded theory; pregnancy; qualitative research

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812408X267916

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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