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Women’s choices and experiences of using birthing pools


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Background - Over a four year period consumer feedback forms were collected by a birthing pool supplier in New Zealand. The feedback forms were sent to the New Zealand College of Midwives (NZCOM) recognising that the feedback forms provide a unique record of women’s experiences of using a birthing pool for pain relief and comfort during labour and/or birth. A request was sent by NZCOM to the four Bachelor of Midwifery Degree Schools in New Zealand for an expression of interest in the collation and analysis of the forms. The feedback forms were not developed as part of a research project but as a tool for women and their partners to describe their many and varied experiences of using water during labour and giving birth. The feedback forms provide a unique record of women and their partner’s experiences in their planning for labour and birth and their utilisation of birthing pools. Method - Both quantitative and qualitative responses to feedback form questions provide an overall view of consumer demographics and experiences. The responses were collated into demographic data and theme descriptive categories. The Statistical Package’s for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for quantitative analysis and direct quotes were taken from answers to feedback form questions. Results - The age of women who most used the pool was in the 31 – 40 year age group, with the second largest group in the 21 – 30 year age group. The greatest number of women, 86.8%, used the birthing pool in their own home, although 12.6% transferred during labour to their Base Hospital. The largest number of women, 41.7%, used the pool for both labour and birth and the majority, 81%, used the pool with, or without non-pharmacological pain relief such as massage and aromatherapy. Women’s experiences of using of the pool were described as meeting their expectations; however extenuating circumstances such as insufficient hot water impacted on their use of the pool. Conclusion - For the women who completed the consumer feedback forms the use of a birth pool was a significant positive factor in their experience of labour and birth.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Birthing pool, women's experience, consumer feedback, homebirth, New Zealand
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Paula Cox
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2015 04:10
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:41

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