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Title: Why do women request caesarean section in a normal, healthy first pregnancy?
Authors: Fenwick, J.
Staff, L.
Gamble, J.
Creedy, D.K. 
Bayes, S.
Keywords: Caesarean section
Decision making
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Citation: Fenwick, J., Staff, L., Gamble, J., Creedy, D.K., Bayes, S. (2010-08). Why do women request caesarean section in a normal, healthy first pregnancy?. Midwifery 26 (4) : 394-400. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background and context: a growing number of childbearing women are reported to prefer a caesarean section in the absence of a medical reason. Qualitative research describing factors influencing this preference in pregnant women is lacking. Objective: to describe Australian women's request for caesarean section in the absence of medical indicators in their first pregnancy. Design: advertisements were placed in local newspapers inviting women to participate in a telephone interview exploring women's experience of caesarean section. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Setting: two states of Australia: Queensland and Western Australia. Participants: a community sample of women (n=210) responded to the advertisements. This paper presents the findings elicited from interviews conducted with 14 women who requested a caesarean section during their first pregnancy in the absence of a known medical indication. Findings: childbirth fear, issues of control and safety, and a devaluing of the female body and birth process were the main themes underpinning women's requests for a non-medically-indicated caesarean section. Women perceived that medical discourses supported and reinforced their decision as a 'safe' and 'responsible' choice. Key conclusions and recommendations for practice: these findings assist women and health professionals to better understand how childbirth can be constructed as a fearful event. In light of the evidence about the risks associated with surgical birth, health-care professionals need to explore these perceptions with women and develop strategies to promote women's confidence and competence in their ability to give birth naturally. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Midwifery
ISSN: 02666138
DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2008.10.011
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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