Birth Alternatives: How Women Select Childbirth Care

By Sandra Howell-White | Go to book overview

upport from their family and friends may reconsider their selections if they did not actually receive support. Likewise, women who desired control may alter their views if they felt they had little control over their birth experience. These types of shifts in childbirth beliefs and/or social attitudes that can or did alter their selections can only be shown by a prospective study design.

Just as the participants in this study had to learn about their options, it is important to understand some of the background and context of this study. First, it is important to note the HMO's role in initiating this study as well as their involvement in introducing it to the participants. Second, it is useful to become familiar with the providers and settings that were being studied. Additionally, it is important to discern the specific constraints applicable in this setting as well as the more common constraints that were absent. Finally, it is vital to outline the study's uniqueness such as the prospective design, professional autonomy, and range of care choices. Having obtained this background, it is now time to turn our attention to the questions of why women selected their particular care providers and settings and how their experiences might influence their future selections.


NOTES
1.
Since the completion of the study, the HMO has merged with a for-profit HMO.
2.
This study was the foundation of my dissertation work. Dr. Ellen Idler, my advisor, and I worked together to develop the format and instruments. Additionally, I was guided by the other committee members: David Mechanic ( Chairperson), Lee Clarke, and Peter Guarnaccia.
3.
For most respondents, the first prenatal visit took place during the second or third month of pregnancy.
4.
If the woman did not return for her follow-up visit, the interview was conducted over the telephone and the chart was then reviewed.
5.
Although the medical staff worked at both centers, most of the patients were only seen at their designated center. For instance, the physicians and CNMs would see patients at one center two days a week, and then at the other for the remaining three days.
6.
Only a few women, who scheduled their own appointments with the CNMS, received their care at the birthing center.
7.
Although the facility is equipped to manage a number of complications, if women experience complications that warrant more serious interventions they are transferred to the hospital. None of the women in this sample required transfer to the hospital; however, one baby was transferred to the hospital for follow-up

-30-

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Birth Alternatives: How Women Select Childbirth Care
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Sociology ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xvi
  • 1 - The Importance of Choice 1
  • 2 - Conception 19
  • Notes 30
  • 3 - In the Beginning: Prenatal Care 33
  • Notes 59
  • 4 - The Traditional Birth Experience 61
  • Notes 92
  • 5 - The Natural" Birth" 95
  • Notes 111
  • 6 113
  • Notes 137
  • 7 - After the Birth 139
  • Notes 150
  • Bibliography 151
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 165
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