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Do women want to be informed about operative vaginal delivery in the antenatal period?
  1. K Goyder,
  2. B K Strachan,
  3. R Bahl
  1. St. Michael's Hospital, Bristol, UK


Background Many women who undergo operative vaginal delivery (OVD) have reported that they felt unprepared. Our previous research has shown that delivery of antenatal education about OVD is patchy. While most women prepare for a normal birth, it is important to ask if women want education about OVD in antenatal period.

Aim of this study To investigate if women want information about OVD in antenatal period.

Method Nulliparous women underwent structured interviews from 37 weeks onwards. Women were asked if they wanted information about OVD and what were the perceived risks and benefits of this information.

Results 23 women participated in the interview study. Most of the participants said they wanted as much information as possible. For example, ‘when you know it might happen to you, you want to know as much information as you possibly can’ and ‘it would be good if someone would have explained … they do get out something you know exactly what they are doing’. There was agreement among the participants that information was beneficial in terms of feeling better prepared should an OVD be indicated Women responded that they ‘preferred to know what was coming’ and would feel ‘calmer’ and ‘less worried’. One participant commented ‘to be forewarned is forearmed’.

Conclusion In the study population, women considered that having adequate information about OVD would have an empowering and calming effect and would therefore reduce anxiety. There was a strong message that the women wanted an accurate and realistic view of birth and possible modes of delivery.

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