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Open Access Research article

Trust and ambivalence in midwives' views towards women developing pelvic pain during pregnancy: a qualitative study

Ingrid Mogren1*, Anna Winkvist2 and Lars Dahlgren3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Science, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

2 Department of Metabolism and Cardiovascular Research/Clinical Nutrition, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Department of Sociology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:600  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-600

Published: 12 October 2010

Abstract

Background

The Swedish midwife plays a significant role in the antenatal care (ANC) system, and a majority of pregnant women are satisfied with their ANC. Pelvic pain during pregnancy (PP) is prevalent. The study investigated the views, perceptions and attitudes of midwives currently working in ANC regarding PP during pregnancy.

Methods

The informants were ten midwives between the ages of 35 to 64 years, with a combined experience of 250 years of midwifery. In-depth interviews (n = 4) and one focus group discussion (n = 6) were conducted. The data were interpreted using a qualitative content analysis design.

Results

PP was considered a common, clinical problem that had most likely increased in prevalence in recent decades and could feature prominently in a woman's experience of pregnancy. The informants had developed a strategy for supporting pregnant women affected by PP. The pregnant woman's fear of not being believed concerning her symptoms and the risk of being regarded as a malingerer were acknowledged. Mistrust between a midwife and a woman might occur when the patient's symptoms were vague and ill defined. PP was not considered as something that complicated delivery, and women experiencing it were advised to await 'the natural course of the pregnancy'.

Conclusions

PP was considered a common, clinical problem and the informants had developed a strategy for supporting pregnant women affected by PP. However, the woman's fear of not being believed concerning her symptoms of PP was acknowledged and mistrust might occur between a midwife and a woman if vague symptoms were reported.