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Challenging the status quo: women's experiences of opting for a home birth in Andalucia, Spain

Leon-Larios, F., Nuno-Aguilar, C., Rocca-Ihenacho, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-8161-3938 , Castro-Cardona, F. & Escuriet, R. (2019). Challenging the status quo: women's experiences of opting for a home birth in Andalucia, Spain. Midwifery, 70, pp. 15-21. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2018.12.001


To explore the perceptions, beliefs and attitudes of women who opted for a home birth in Andalusia (Spain).

Home birth is currently an unusual choice among Spanish women. It is not an option covered by the Spanish National Health Service and women who opt for a home birth have to pay for an independent midwife.

A qualitative study with a phenomenological approach was adopted. All participants who took part in this study had chosen to have a home birth and given written consent to take part in the study.

Data collection was conducted in 2015–16. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with women who chose a home birth in the last 5 years.

The sample consisted of thirteen women. Seven themes were created through analysis: 1. Getting informed about home birth; 2. Home birth as a choice, despite feeling unsupported; 3. The best way to have a personalized and a physiological birth; 4. Seeking a healing and empowering experience 5. The need for emotional safety, establishing a relationship and trusting the midwife; 6. Preparing for birth and working on fears; 7. Inequality of access (because of financial implications).

Women opted to plan birth at home because they wanted a personalised birth and control over their decision-making in labour, which they felt would not have been afforded to them in hospital settings. Andalusian maternity care leaders should strive to ensure that all pregnant women receive respectful and high-quality personalised care, by appropriately trained staff, both in the hospital and in the community.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Elsevier 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Home birth, Midwives, Private practice, Midwifery-led care, Phenomenological approach, Qualitative methodology
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Homebirth paper_Midwifery_REVIEWED 21ST OCTOBER (002).pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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