Fødselsopplevelse: En Q-metodologisk undersøkelse av hvordan en sammenhengende relasjonell prosess rundt svangerskap, fødsel og barseltid kan skape en positiv fødselsopplevelse
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Objective: The aim of the present study was to gain a deeper understanding of how relational continuity in the childbearing process can provide a positive birth experience. Design/setting: A Q-methodological approach was chosen, as it allows the researcher to systematically investigate subjectivity. 23 women were invited to sort a sample of 48 statements regarding to their subjective view of birth experience after they had participated in a pilot project in Trondheim, Norway, where six midwifery students provided continuity of care to 58 women throughout their pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period. The sorting-patterns were subsequently factoranalyzed using the statistical software ‘PQ’, revealing one strong and one weaker factor. The consensus statements and the defining statements for the two factors were later interpreted. Findings: Both factors seemed to represent experiences of psychological trust and a feeling of working in a partnership with the midwife student. Both factors indicated that it is important with quality in the relation. Factor1 further represented experiences of presence and emotional support in the helping relation. It also represented a feeling of personal growth for the women. Factor 2 was defined by experiences of predictability in the relation and in the process, and the feeling of interdependency in the relation. According to quality in the relation factor 2 experienced that the content, not only the continuity, in the relation was important for the birth experience. Conclusion: Relational continuity is a key concept according to a positive birth experience. Quality in the relation gives the woman a possibility to experience positivity according to the childbearing process. Continuity in care and personal growth related to birth enhance empowerment for both the woman and her partner. Relational continuity will give a opportunity for the midwifes to provide care in a more holistic way. Wider implication: Relational continuity has to be valued in the discussion concerning quality in the maternity care. Relational learning need to be implemented in the midwifery education and in midwifes counceling lesson. Further research need to address how maternity care in Norway can be reorganised to incorporate the continuity of care. Keywords: Birth experience, continuity of care, helping relation, holistic view, trust.