Listening to women after birth: their perceptions of postnatal support and the potential value of having a postnatal debriefing session with a midwife

Baxter, J. (2017). Listening to women after birth: their perceptions of postnatal support and the potential value of having a postnatal debriefing session with a midwife. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

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Abstract

This thesis examines women’s experiences of postnatal care in hospital and on postnatal debriefing. The objectives were to determine what postnatal debriefing is; to understand reasons why some women attend such services; identify the views of women and staff towards this and finally explore women’s feelings about their birth experience to identify possible links between this and the need for women to talk to a professional.

A case study utilised secondary data sources to identify women’s experiences of care on the postnatal ward. This was followed by a critical literature review of postnatal debriefing which adopted meta-ethnography to analyse the varied research papers retrieved. The literature review was published in a peer-review journal. Finally the fourth research component followed a sequential mixed methods approach. This included a survey to a convenience sample of 447 women following birth and qualitative interviews with 16 women.

The findings of the case study showed that women felt unsupported on the hospital postnatal ward and the environment unconducive to recovery. The critical review of the literature showed that postnatal debriefing enabled women to have their birth experiences validated by talking and being listened to and being provided with information. Results from the main research study show that women with a high Impact of Events Score (IES) are more likely to want to talk following their birth experience and more likely to rate their experience of birth more negatively compared with those with those with a low IES. Five themes were identified in the qualitative analysis that illuminated women’s reasons for needing to talk about their birth experience. Women found the postnatal debriefing service of value. Maternity providers should consider offering a postnatal debriefing service to help meet women’s postnatal support needs in advance of further research in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Midwifery
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/17911

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