Getting more than they realized they needed

A qualitative study of women's experience of group prenatal care

Deborah A. McNeil, Monica Vekved, Siobhan M. Dolan, Jodi Siever, Sarah Horn, Suzanne C. Tough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Pregnant women in Canada have traditionally received prenatal care individually from their physicians, with some women attending prenatal education classes. Group prenatal care is a departure from these practices providing a forum for women to experience medical care and child birth education simultaneously and in a group setting. Although other qualitative studies have described the experience of group prenatal care, this is the first which sought to understand the central meaning or core of the experience. The purpose of this study was to understand the central meaning of the experience of group prenatal care for women who participated in CenteringPregnancy through a maternity clinic in Calgary, Canada.Methods: The study used a phenomenological approach. Twelve women participated postpartum in a one-on-one interview and/or a group validation session between June 2009 and July 2010.Results: Six themes emerged: (1) "getting more in one place at one time"; (2) "feeling supported"; (3) "learning and gaining meaningful information"; (4) "not feeling alone in the experience"; (5) "connecting"; and (6) "actively participating and taking on ownership of care". These themes contributed to the core phenomenon of women "getting more than they realized they needed". The active sharing among those in the group allowed women to have both their known and subconscious needs met.Conclusions: Women's experience of group prenatal care reflected strong elements of social support in that women had different types of needs met and felt supported. The findings also broadened the understanding of some aspects of social support beyond current theories. In a contemporary North American society, the results of this study indicate that women gain from group prenatal care in terms of empowerment, efficiency, social support and education in ways not routinely available through individual care. This model of care could play a key role in addressing women's needs and improving health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2012

Fingerprint

Prenatal Care
Social Support
Canada
Emotions
Prenatal Education
Education
Ownership
Child Care
Postpartum Period
Pregnant Women
Learning
Parturition
Interviews
Physicians
Efficiency
Health

Keywords

  • Canada
  • Pregnant women
  • Prenatal care
  • Social support
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Getting more than they realized they needed : A qualitative study of women's experience of group prenatal care. / McNeil, Deborah A.; Vekved, Monica; Dolan, Siobhan M.; Siever, Jodi; Horn, Sarah; Tough, Suzanne C.

In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Vol. 12, 17, 21.03.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McNeil, Deborah A. ; Vekved, Monica ; Dolan, Siobhan M. ; Siever, Jodi ; Horn, Sarah ; Tough, Suzanne C. / Getting more than they realized they needed : A qualitative study of women's experience of group prenatal care. In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012 ; Vol. 12.
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