A qualitative analysis of the content of telephone calls made by women to a dedicated 'Next Birth After Caesarean' antenatal clinic.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Women Birth, 2010, 23 (4), pp. 166 - 171
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BACKGROUND: The 'Next Birth After Caesarean' (NBAC) clinic is a dedicated service for women who have had a previous caesarean section. The midwifery-led clinic commenced at a tertiary hospital in Western Australia in 2008. As part of this service, access to a midwife via telephone is available. AIM: This paper aims to provide maternity health care providers with an increased understanding of, and insight into, the different information needs of this specific group of maternity care consumers. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive approach was used to analyse the content of 170 telephone calls made by women to the NBAC clinic over a period of 16 months (July 2008-November 2009). RESULTS: Six distinct categories of calls were elicited from the analysis process with the majority of calls related to women seeking information and support about the option of vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). These were labeled: 'Wanting and seeking a VBAC'; 'Is VBAC a possiblility?'; 'Seeking clarification and cross-checking information in the face of opposition'; 'Existing NBAC clients checking in/checking out'; 'Feeling distressed and disappointed; wanting to talk' and 'Professional inquiry about NBAC service'. DISCUSSION: It is acknowledged that women require access to non-biased information to be able to make informed decisions about birth after caesarean. However there remains limited evidence on the precise informational needs of these women. It appears from our findings that this particular group of maternity service consumers requires opportunities to discuss their particular needs within the context of their individual childbearing experiences. CONCLUSION: Preliminary evidence is provided that a telephone service led by midwives may be one effective strategy to meet women's informational needs and address decisional conflict in relation to options for birth after a caesarean section.
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