Table 5

Being prepared



umm I think its hard when its your first child you don't really know what to expect and like you do your birth plan and it just goes out of the window because you don't really know what is going to happen until you get there (Interview 2)

I had several disagreements with my doctor concerning specific issues that finally assisted my decision on a home birth. For instance he said that shaving, enema and episiotomy will definitely take place because I am a first-time mum and it is very important not to lose the flexibility of my pelvic floor. (Kontoyannis & Katsetos 2008, p47)

I mean you can have a choice of where you want to have your baby you know. Like at home or whatever and I was like there's no way I want the baby at home I want to be in hospital. I want to know that I'm in a place where everything's on hand, if anything happens whatsoever, everything's there you know.(Interview 3)

She had a second child and had it planned right, so like I called her up and said, 'When's the baby due?,' and she was like, 'Oh you know, like July 1st at 3:15.' And I'm like 'What?,' and she's, 'Oh we're planning it this time. If I couldn't do it the first time I'm not doing it the second time.' And starting from then, I sort of went, 'Oh, what a civilized way of doing it. (Munro et al. 2009, p376)

During the nine months of being pregnant I was always a bit unsure because there is a story going round at work that somebody had been paralysed after having [epidural] and its always in the back of your mind something like that...and er my friend she had a baby a month before I had [mine] and she had an epidural and after I heard the story it put me at ease having it so I thought yes I will and once I was in the pain I thought (laughs) I don't want any medals (Interview 7).

What struck me during my research was how difficult I personally would find it (with my limited understanding of many medical interventions related to childbirth) to exercise choice about birth if it meant being assertive with health care professionals who were not encouraging and who might set my choice against the 'needs', 'safety' and 'well-being' of the unborn child. (Shaw 2007, p566)

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

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