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Informed decisions in the third stage of labour – midwives experiences through the lens of portraiture

      Introduction and Aim

      Using the qualitative methodology of portraiture, this study aims to develop an in-depth understanding of midwives’ experiences of facilitating informed decision-making relating to the management of the third stage of labour.

      Methods

      Five (5) Victorian midwives with varying experience working across the continuum of maternity care in diverse midwifery settings, were engaged in one-on-one semi-structured interviews. The qualitative data of each interview was analysed and presented according to the portraiture approach outlined by Lawerence-Lightfoot & Davis and Clarke, Reed & Keyes, as individual in-depth case studies. The purpose of portraiture is to tell a story that allows the reader to see themselves captured in the research. This provokes readers to reflect, feel and think about where they can enact change. Portraits are examined against one another, to search for themes and commonalities, as well as discrepancies. Due to the in-depth understanding of the background of each participant, this allows for a rich insight into midwives’ experiences of facilitating informed decision-making in the third stage of labour.

      Results

      At the time of submitting this abstract, data analysis is still underway. This project is due to be completed by June 2022. Early findings from our analysis of the portraits has led us to understand that midwives identify multiple barriers to truly facilitating informed decision-making for third stage, but continue to advocate for women’s choices in practise.

      Conclusion

      Informed decision-making is a protective factor for women’s mental and physical health in pregnancy and the puerperium, and also has significant implications for midwives’ job satisfaction. This study portrays the unique, and detailed experiences of five thought-provoking, powerful and yet ordinary midwives at differing points in their diverse careers.
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