Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
The current study seeks to understand the role of choice and control in both planning and giving birth. This study explores three research questions: 1) What are the key influences on women’s birth plan decisions? 2) How do changes to a woman’s initial birth plan impact her overall birth experience? 3) What is the role of choice and control in women’s childbirth experiences? Narrative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 16 women who had given birth in Waterloo Region within the two years preceding data collection. The findings of this study cover five categories. The first category is the influences on women’s planning process (e.g. family, care provider, books, prenatal classes). The second category is the impact that changes to a woman’s initial birth plan have on her birth experience and this includes a discussion of transfers of care, pain management and medical intervention, and hospital stays. The third category is the role of choice and control in women’s childbirth experiences and in this section the topics discussed include pain management techniques and care provider support. Following this, there is a summary of women’s overall satisfaction with their experience. Finally, the fifth category of findings describes women’s experiences with breastfeeding support after the birth of their children. A conceptual framework of the role of choice and control in women’s birth experiences is proposed that contains three aspects: informed choice, flexibility and support.
Cook, Katie M., "The Role of Choice and Control in Women’s Childbirth Experiences" (2010). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 967.