Women’s Experience Regarding the Decision to Deliver by Caesarean Section: A Qualitative Study

2 Sep 2015

Caesarean Section (CS) rates have increased significantly in Ireland in recent decades.1 This has been partially attributed to women’s request for the procedure. The concepts of ‘informed choice’ and ‘women centred care’ have become central tenets of maternity care2 yet women’s experience of the decision making process is largely absent from the literature.The aim of this study was to explore the experience of decision making about mode of delivery in women who had delivered by CS. Ethics
Ethical Approval was granted by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Cork Teaching Hospitals
Study Design
An Interpretive Phenomenological study design was used. 
Women were randomly selected from the Delivery Book at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) to participate in a mode of delivery study. The larger study included vaginal births, vaginal birth after CS and instrumental deliveries. For the purpose of this study a purposive subsample of women who had delivered by CS was taken from the larger study. Women were included if they had an elective or an emergency CS. Women who had a stillbirth or neonatal death were excluded from the study.
Data Collection
In-depth semi structured interviews were conducted with six women three to six months after they had undergone a CS at CUMH. All interviews were conducted in the women’s homes at their request. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim.
Interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.3 Codes and emerging themes were reviewed and verified by a second researcher.

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