Table 3

Perceiving risk

Examples from the interviews

Examples from the literature


When you're not living far from the hospital, you know you can always go in, it's only a short car ride.(Interview 3)

[In hospital] the safety time limit from labour ward to operating theatre is 10 minutes. I live so close I could make it (Viisainen 2000, p801)

I knew I wasn't that far away from the hospital um(p..). I weren't panicky as such, we talked about it and he you know said 'it's totally up to you, if you want to go home, we'll go home, as soon as you want to go back we'll just get in the car and go back.(Interview 1)

Mia didn't tell them anything [about the plan, during ultrasound]. We thought that if they had known about our home birth plan we could not be sure they would give us honest information, they would start finding things. [We had this before. I]f you want something alternative they [health staff] start finding things. (Viisainen 2000, p807)

I want to know that I'm in a place where everything's on hand, if anything happens whatsoever, everything's there you know...[i]f the contractions had come on really really fast at home and that had happened that would have panicked me. (Interview 8)

There is risk in everything you do and to me, having a caesarean section presented me with less risk than the vaginal. I felt I was bypassing the risk and so did my doctor' (Fenwick et al. 2008, p398)

With Emily, I didn't start in labour at all and I expected to either start in labour or be induced but I did expect to be kept in. I thought that that normal ... I think I would have preferred to stay in if it was my first one I think I would have felt a bit more worried.(Interview 3)

... the great danger (of intervention) is at the hospital. The immense danger comes when you start interfering with something as natural as giving birth.' (Nepheli) (Kontoyannis & Katsetos 2008, p46)

Giving birth in hospital is like making love in a railway station. (Viisainen 2001, p1114)


Snowden et al. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2011 11:40   doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-40

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