The analysis of negative birth experiences of mothers: a qualitative study

AKTAŞ S., Aydin R.

JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE AND INFANT PSYCHOLOGY, vol.37, no.2, pp.176-192, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02646838.2018.1540863
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.176-192
  • Keywords: Vaginal birth, negative childbirth experience, qualitative study, intrapartum care, health professionals, WOMENS EXPERIENCES, CHILDBIRTH, IMPACT, DELIVERY, POSTPARTUM, DISCOMFORT, SUPPORT, LABOR, CARE, FEAR
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: The aim of this study is to analyse the factors associated with a negative childbirth experience from the perspective of the women who gave birth vaginally. Background: A negative birth experience can pose a risk for both the maternal/newborn health and the health of the community by disturbing the physical and spiritual health of the woman/family. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted with 11 mothers who gave birth vaginally assisted by midwives in a state hospital. The data were collected using in-depth interviews and analysed using the thematic analysis technique. Results: The factors causing the women to have negative birth perceptions were analysed under four main themes: challenges/difficulties encountered, the inadequate communication of health professionals, embarrassment/privacy and inadequate hospital facilities. The mothers indicated that they had experienced their births negatively due to personal reasons such as the inability to cope with labour pain, inability to push, hospital policies such as interventions at birth and hunger. In addition, some of the participants stated that they had difficulty and felt embarrassed during vaginal examinations. Conclusion: The sociocultural characteristics of mothers, hospital facilities and rules, medical and traditional practices at birth, inadequate empathic communication of health professionals and reproductive health policies can lead to negative childbirth experiences.