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Women's decision-making about birthplace choices: Booking for birth centre, hospital or home birth in the North of England

Lambert, Carol; Jomeen, Julie; McSherry, Wilf


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Dr Carol Lambert
Researcher in Maternal and Reproductive Health

Wilf McSherry


Aim This paper presents findings from an Interpretive Phenomenological study that illuminates unique characteristics of the different social representations of antenatal primigravida and multigravida women who book to birth their babies in a birth centre, hospital, or at home. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 women and analysed by interpretive phenomenological analysis. Findings Analysis revealed different social representations independent of each other, that illustrate how these social groups, determined by women's collective voices, are uniquely characterised by group views, beliefs, misinterpretations and preconceptions and establishes what influences women in decision-making about choice of birthplace. Conclusion Women make decisions about what they want for themselves in this birthing experience. These decisions are made long before this impending experience. Recognising the different social representations of women in pregnancy, reveals deeper insight into the complexities of women's decision-making about birth choices, and highlights why some women might opt for certain choices. Knowing that some women may make decisions based on little or misrepresented information, confirms midwives are best placed in their interactions with women to provide positive influences, empowering them to make decisions based upon what they want for themselves. This affirms the woman and her midwife should remain partners in the decision-making process.


Lambert, C., Jomeen, J., & McSherry, W. (2018). Women's decision-making about birthplace choices: Booking for birth centre, hospital or home birth in the North of England. International journal of childbirth, 8(2), 115-134.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 1, 2018
Publication Date 2018-12
Deposit Date Oct 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 2, 2019
Journal International journal of childbirth
Print ISSN 2156-5295
Electronic ISSN 2156-5295
Publisher Springer Publishing Company
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 2
Pages 115-134
Keywords Women; decision-making; birthplace choice; influence pregnancy
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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