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Experience, perceptions and attitudes of parents who planned home birth in Spain: A qualitative study

Published:January 22, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2022.01.004

      Abstract

      Background

      A woman’s home birth and postpartum experience can have a major impact on her baby’s, partner’s and family’s well being. It is a life-altering event that can help improve or worsen women’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

      Aim

      The aim of this study was to describe and understand the experiences, perceptions and attitudes of parents who planned a home birth in Spain.

      Methods

      A qualitative study was conducted based on Gadamer’s hermeneutic phenomenology. Two main methods were used for data collection; narratives and individual in-depth interviews with 14 mothers and 8 fathers who had planned a home birth in the last year. Inductive analysis was used to find themes based on the data obtained.

      Findings

      Six main themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) in search of a natural and personalised birth, (2) breaking with social pressures, (3) experience of home birth for the mother, (4) role of the father in home birth, (5) how does the father experience home birth?, (6) home birth is not available to all mothers and fathers.

      Conclusion

      For the mothers and fathers in this study the home birth experience fulfilled their previous expectations of an intimate and natural moment, making it a highly satisfying experience for both. However, parents expressed experiencing negative feelings such as fear and worry about complications and labor pain. According to our research society in general and public health professionals in particular issue numerous criticisms and value judgments towards mothers and fathers who opt for a home birth in our country. In addition, the study shows the economic and cultural inequalities in access to home birth in Spain.

      Keywords

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