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A qualitative investigation of expectant and new mothers' understanding of the model of a stand-alone midwifery-led birth centre
  1. R Howell,
  2. F Abu Amna
  1. Trafford General Hospital, Manchester, UK

Abstract

Objective To determine understanding of the model of a stand-alone Midwifery led unit, in order to inform and develop education programs for potential users.

Design Qualitative study using interviews.

Setting District General Hospital Maternity service.

Participants 10 maternity service users.

Methods Expectant and new mothers' currently receiving maternity care at Trafford General Hospital were invited to participate with intention of achieving a similar number of each group. The interviews lasted no more that 30 min and were recorded on a hand-held Dictaphone, and subsequently transcribed into anonymised text. Analysis was undertaken by both investigators (FAA and RH).

Main Outcome Measures Clear thematic areas emerged, such as need explain the distinction between a freestanding MLU (midwifery led unit) and hospital setting and clarity regarding what the terminology actually means in practice. For example, the facts that there would be no obstetric doctors and no anaesthetists and so no epidural service developed as key areas for education.

Results There was a clear need for explanation as to exactly what services would and would not be provided in this model, particularly around the absence of obstetric and anaesthetic doctors, and the implications of the possibility of intrapartum transfer.

Conclusion An education programme for potential users will require clear and detailed information.

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