Experiences of women who elect for a Caesarian section following a previous traumatic birth

Rhodes, Kate (2013) Experiences of women who elect for a Caesarian section following a previous traumatic birth. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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The aim of this phenomenological study was to explore women’s experiences of an Elective Caesarean Section (ECS) following a previous Traumatic Birth (TB).
Thirteen women who had undergone an ECS following a TB were either interviewed or provided written accounts of their experiences. Data from these sources were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, Flowers and Larkin, 2009).
Five main themes were identified: ‘cautiously moving forward into the unknown: the drive to reproduce’, ‘attempting to make the unknown known’, ‘the longed for, positive birthing experience’ , ‘a different post-natal experience’ and ‘the interaction of the two experiences’. These findings were considered in relation to previous research; relevant theoretical perspectives were considered including those attached to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Post-traumatic stress reactions may increase during subsequent pregnancy impeding on women’s ability to consider facing another ‘unknown’ natural birth and domineering their decision to elect for a CS. An ECS following a TB may provide women with the controlled experience and high levels of care they long for. Such experiences could be redemptive and have positive outcomes for women’s relationships and wellbeing. These results highlight the importance of providing women in this position with information and choice regarding a subsequent birth. They also stress that prevention of women carrying Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) reactions into their subsequent pregnancies is imperative. Future research would benefit from focussing on the development and trialling of effective screening tools for PTS reactions following birth.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics > RG0551 Pregnancy > RG0940 Maternal care. Prenatal care services
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2013 16:45
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 13:43
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12377

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00