Women's views of hospital and community-based postnatal care: the good, the bad and the indifferent

Beake, Sarah, McCourt, Christine and Bick, Debra (2005) Women's views of hospital and community-based postnatal care: the good, the bad and the indifferent. Evidence Based Midwifery, 3 (2). pp. 80-86. ISSN 1479-4489

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Abstract

Aim. To explore women’s views and experiences of postnatal care, both in hospital and at home, in a socially and ethnically diverse urban population in the UK, in order to highlight the issues that are important to them.
Objectives. To contribute to the knowledge on postnatal care for women in the UK, given the present lack of literature on women’s views of postnatal care.
Method. In-depth semi-structured interviews of 22 women were conducted as part of a larger study in the late 1990s in which women were surveyed about their views and experiences of maternity care. The interviews were analysed using a thematic approach similar to that adopted in grounded theory.
Findings/results. The main themes that emerged from the interviews concerning postnatal care both in hospital and at home were support, how women feel and the environment. Women expected their period in hospital to be a time of rest with
support for breastfeeding, basic care of the baby and emotional support. However, in practice the environment was not conducive to rest and the support they wanted was difficult to obtain. Most wanted to leave hospital quickly to return home
where they felt more in control and relaxed.
Implications: This study supports previous studies in that care was perceived to be inadequate and not well-matched to the women’s needs, particularly in the hospital setting. The recent trend towards early postnatal discharge and selective postnatal
visiting by midwives is acceptable to women and what is important to them is practical, informational and psychological support, much of which could be given by healthcare assistants and friends and family if available, as well as midwives. There is a need to consider service reconfiguration that might enhance the capacity of midwives to respond to women’s expressed needs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Postnatal care, satisfaction, support, women’s views, midwifery
Subjects: Medicine and health > Midwifery
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 09:42
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 10:59
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/118

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