Background Obstetric practise is emotive, challenging and has long term impact both in terms of delivering new life but also for the mother where much of her experience occurs in labour and delivery.
Aim of this study To investigate the non-technical skills for operative vaginal delivery that have an impact on women’s birth experience when having an OVD.
Method Sixteen women who had an OVD of a term baby underwent a semi structured interview 6–8 weeks postnatal. The interview recordings were transcribed verbatim. Thematic coding of data was carried out. Consistency of interpretation was ascertained by two researchers.
Results One of the key themes identified by women was a ‘feeling of loss of control’ and a ‘need for explanation’ of events to enable empowerment and reinforce control back to the woman. Women reported that ‘loss of control is very worrying and overwhelming’. This want of ownership to the process of operative delivery is further highlighted by the ‘need for partnership between the healthcare provider and the woman’, ‘enabling autonomy’ and ‘avoiding a paternalistic relationship’. Greater information for OVD in antenatal classes was suggested in order to counteract a common theme of negative perceptions of an operative delivery.
Conclusion Vulnerability of the women’s feelings highlights the importance of non technical skills in ensuring a woman feels trust, is empowered and in control. These non-technical skills need to be taught, learnt and practised to ensure a woman’s experience if safe, positive and pays justice to the delight of having a child.
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