Women's lived experience of birth doula support: a hermeneutic phenomenological study

Randell, Cheryl Michelle (2015) Women's lived experience of birth doula support: a hermeneutic phenomenological study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Research has shown that childbirth doula support may be beneficial for the mother and child in terms of improved labour and delivery outcomes and increased maternal satisfaction with the childbirth. Yet, little research has been carried out to examine women’s experiences with such support. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore women’s lived experience of having a birth doula. van Manen’s (1990) approach to hermeneutic phenomenology was used to carry out and analyze in-depth interviews with 14 women who recently had a doula for support prenatally and during the intrapartum and immediate postpartum periods. The findings revealed six main themes. The women were aiming for the best birthing experience and they believed that to achieve this they needed extra support and to have a full say in their childbirth experience. The women thought their doula helped them to have peace of mind prenatally and believed a doula is valuable support, but acknowledged that choosing the right doula matters to achieving the best birthing experience. These findings can be used to inform nursing practice, education, and research. In particular, with respect to nursing practice, nurses need to be aware of the importance women place on constant and personalized support for their childbirth experience. They should endeavor to provide continuing and individualized nursing care that is targeted to meet the woman’s birthing needs and preferences, while at all times maintaining a true presence.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11553
Item ID: 11553
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-97).
Keywords: doula, women, support, childbirth, birth, birthing, pregnancy, labour, delivery, phenomenology, lived experience
Department(s): Nursing, Faculty of
Date: October 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Doulas; Childbirth--Psychological aspects; Maternal health services; Maternity nursing; Phenomenology

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