Journal article

Who decides the position for birth? A follow-up study of a randomized controlled trial

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Publication Details

Author list: Hildingsson, Ingegerd

Publication year: 2013

Start page: e99

End page: e104

ISSN: 1871-5192

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2013.06.004

View additional information: View in Web of Science


Abstract

Background Physical benefits are suggested for women and their babies when women adopt an upright position of their choice at birth. Available care options during labour influence womens impressions of what intrapartum care is. This indicates that choice of birth positions may be determined more by midwives than by womens preferences.

Question The aims of this study were to investigate factors associated with adherence to allocated birth position and also to investigate factors associated with decision-making for birth position.

Method An invitation to answer an on-line questionnaire was mailed.

Findings Despite being randomised, women who gave birth on the seat were statistically significantly more likely to report that they participated in decision-making and that they took the opportunity to choose their preferred birth position. They also reported statistically significantly more often than non-adherers that they felt powerful, protected and self-confident.

Conclusions Midwives should be conscious of the potential impact that birth positions have on womens birth experiences and on maternal outcomes. Midwives should encourage womens autonomy by giving unbiased information about the birth seat. An upright birth position may lead to greater childbirth satisfaction. Womens experience of and preferences for birth positions are consistent with current evidence for best practice.


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