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Exploring Some Swedish Women's Experiences of Support During Childbirth

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BACKGROUND: Caregivers need to better understand women's experiences of support during childbirth because research suggests that social support positively influences childbirth.

AIM: This study describes women's experiences of support given by caregivers during pregnancy and childbirth.

METHOD: The study design was inspired by grounded theory. Seven interviews of women were analyzed with an open coding, and different time-related categories related to the childbirth process emerged. The categories were marked by fear and a negative birth experience, being guided on own terms, feel supported, and transformation into courage to give birth. The analysis continued with a selective coding, reflecting the process of mistrust to trust in caregivers.

FINDINGS: The mistrust in caregivers began with feelings of fear of birth and a negative birth experience. Through being guided on own terms and feeling supported by the caregivers, a trusting relationship could be established. If the trusting relationship continued during labor, then a woman could transform the fear of birth into the courage to give birth.

CONCLUSIONS: Women's experience of support can be seen as a product of earlier experiences from interactions with caregivers. Therefore, caregivers must be sensitive to the potential power and far-reaching consequences their actions can have.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

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