Midwives' experiences of becoming CenteringPregnancy facilitators: A pilot study in Sydney, Australia

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Journal Article
Women and Birth, 2013, 26 (1)
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Background: A pilot study was undertaken between 2006 and 2008 to explore the feasibility of implementing the CenteringPregnancy model of group antenatal care in Australia. The study was undertaken at two hospital antenatal clinics and two community healthcare centres in southern Sydney. This paper reports on one arm of the pilot study, known as the 'Midwives' Study', which aimed to explore the experiences of the midwives as they moved from providing traditional one-to-one antenatal care to facilitating group antenatal care. Methods: The Australian pilot study used Action Research. Eight midwives, the group facilitators, and three researchers formed the Action Research group. A qualitative descriptive approach was undertaken to describe the experiences of the midwives. Data were collected using focus groups, surveys and checklists and analysed using thematic content analysis. Findings: The midwives' initial fears and misgivings about undertaking the new role of group antenatal care gave way to a growing confidence in their abilities and group facilitation skills. They appreciated: the benefits of the CenteringPregnancy model for pregnant women; new opportunities to develop positive relationships with women and their colleagues; and the structured support and education throughout all stages of the Action Research process. Conclusion: The midwives were enthusiastic about their experiences of becoming CenteringPregnancy facilitators and described the benefits of this model of care compared to traditional one-to-one antenatal care. Support and education of the midwives through structured Action Research cycles enhanced the effective implementation of this new model. © 2012 Australian College of Midwives.
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