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Experiences of women in early labour sent home following hospital assessment
Marilyn Morson (author)Landa Terblanche (thesis supervisor)Maggie Theron (second reader)Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham (second reader)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Labour and birth is a life event common to many women yet the physical process, in addition to psychological, social, and spiritual experiences, is unique to each woman. A woman under the care of a physician will come to a hospital when she believes she is in labour. If she is in active labour, the woman is admitted to hospital. If in early labour, the woman is often sent to walk within the hospital prior to reassessment as walking can contribute to progress in labour, or she is sent home. There is limited information about the phenomenon when a woman in early labour is sent home until she is admitted in active labour. Combining the elements of early labour and known possible psychosocial outcomes of birth, this qualitative study explored the experiences of women sent home in early labour within the context of one hospital site in Canada, having 4000 births annually. In-depth interviews with 10 postpartum women within 48 hours of birth yielded the data that were analyzed through a qualitative approach using interpretive description defined by Thorne, Reimer-Kirkham and MacDonald-Emes (1997), and using methods of analysis as outlined by Giorgi (2012). Themes resulting from this analysis were: Conflict between knowledge of labour symptoms and women’s initial responses; background influences and current pregnancy concerns; impact of the unspoken; experiences of pain and coping; and influence of others. Through literature integration it was concluded that all women experience an overwhelming anxiety that may empower/disempower their self-efficacy, confidence, communication with self/others and their coping. Suggestions for practice include a culture of open access to the assessment area and a focus on communication with women in early labour to better understand their individual needs and provide support to decrease anxiety and fear, increase confidence and foster empowerment.
Labor (Obstetrics) – Psychological aspects.Hospitals – Admission and discharge.Maternity nursing.Phenomenological psychology.