Study researches birth satisfaction for first time mothers


A pilot ... study investigating factors that contribute to birth satisfaction for first time New Zealand mothers has led to a bigger nationwide study examining how birth preparation impacts on birth satisfaction.

... birth satisfaction is important because how a mother perceives the birth of her child influences her confidence in mothering abilities and consequently the early mother/child relationship. In turn this impacts on the child’s sense of security as well as family psychosocial health. ... women ... wanted to feel safe, have good relationships with those caring for them, and to have responsibility for and control over their birth processes.

“... they had a desire to take part in decision-making about medical interventions considered necessary,”

“These factors all contributed towards a woman experiencing birth satisfaction. In particular, vulnerable women appreciated the close relationships they established with their midwives.”

She also found that those women needing an intervention to give birth, such as a forceps delivery, were very grateful that skilled obstetric help was available.

“However, a poor relationship between midwife and specialist could contribute towards distress experienced by the women, as did an obstetrician’s lack of attention to bedside manner,” she says.

“On the other hand ... a few minutes taken by the obstetric team to introduce themselves and explain their roles resulted in her retaining a sense of personal control throughout the intervention. This resulted in an empowering and very satisfying birth experience for her, despite the necessity of an unexpected medical intervention” ...

Continuity models are becoming more popular, though still not the norm for most women. Private midwifery care delivers the most effective continuity for women, where women choose their own midwife and are cared for by that same midwife for their pregnancy, birth and new parenting experience.

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