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How women with high risk pregnancies use lay information when considering place of birth: A qualitative study

Lee, S., Holden, D. & Ayers, S. (2016). How women with high risk pregnancies use lay information when considering place of birth: A qualitative study. Women and Birth, 29(1), e13-e17. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2015.07.010


INTRODUCTION: Where to give birth is a key decision in pregnancy. Women use information from family, friends and other sources besides healthcare professionals when contemplating this decision. This study explored women's use of lay information during high risk pregnancies in order to examine differences and similarities in the use of information in relation to planned place of birth. Half the participants were planning hospital births and half were planning to give birth at home. METHODS: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews set in a hospital maternity department in South East England. Twenty-six participants with high risk pregnancies, at least 32 weeks pregnant. Results were analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three themes emerged: approaches to research - how much information women chose to seek out and from which sources; selection of sources - how women decided which sources they considered reliable; and unhelpful research - information they considered unhelpful. Women planning homebirths undertook more research than women planning to give birth in hospital and were more likely to seek out alternative sources of information. Women from both groups referred to deliberately seeking out sources of information which reflected their own values and so did not challenge their decisions. CONCLUSIONS: There are similarities and differences in the use of lay information between women who plan to give birth in hospital and those who plan homebirths. Professionals working with women with high risk pregnancies should consider these factors when interacting with these women.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: High risk pregnancy, Homebirth, Information
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
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