Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P496-504, September 2020

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Uncovered and disrespected. A qualitative study of Jordanian women’s experience of privacy in birth

Published:December 02, 2019DOI:



      Privacy is related to a person’s sense of self and the need to be respected and it is a key factor that contributes to women’s satisfaction with their birth experiences.


      To examine the meaning of privacy for Jordanian women during labour and birth.


      A qualitative interpretive design was used. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 27 Jordanian women. Of these women, 20 were living in Jordan while seven were living in Australia (with birthing experience in both Jordan and Australia). Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.


      The phrase ‘there is no privacy’ captured women’s experience of birth in Jordanian public hospitals and in some private hospital settings. Women in public hospitals in Jordan had to share a room during their labour with no screening. This experience meant that they were, “lying there for everyone to see”, “not even covered by a sheet” and with doctors and others coming in and out of their room. This experience contrasted with birth experienced in Australia.


      This study explicates the meaning of privacy to Jordanian women and demonstrates the impact of the lack of privacy during labour and birth. Seeking a birth in a private hospital in Jordan was one of the strategies that women used to gain privacy, although this was not always achieved. Some strategies were identified to facilitate privacy, such as being covered by a sheet; however, even simple practices are difficult to change in a patriarchal, medically dominated maternity system.


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