A Narrative Inquiry into the Experience of Decision-Making about Place of Birth

  • Author / Creator
    Prendergast, Susan, L
  • Birth decisions have a significant impact on the physical health of a woman and her child as well as to a woman’s mental and emotional health. Healthy low-risk women who birth with a physician in a hospital have statistically significantly higher odds of having interventions like augmentation and epidural. Labour interventions statistically significantly increase the risk that women will require an assisted or surgical birth. Interventions during birth, and surgical birth, significantly increase a woman’s risk for infection, difficulty breastfeeding, incontinence, and mental health problems during the postpartum period. Despite this, the majority of women in Canada choose to birth in hospital. The purpose of this project was to bring forward the experience of decision-making about place of birth. Narrative Inquiry, as developed by Clandinin & Connelly, is the methodological approach that underpins this work. It was chosen because it utilizes story shared in conversation as the foundation for co-created research text. Through the process of completing this project, common threads emerged. Participants brought forward story about the influence of the childbirth culture; about experience as influence; and finally, about the influence of others to their decision-making about place of birth. These threads are suggested as integral commitments for birth care providers, as well as health system design professionals, to ensure that health and experiential outcomes for pregnant and birthing women are positive or even, transformational.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.