Experiences, Beliefs, and Values Influencing Midwives’ Attitudes Toward the Use of Childbirth Interventions

Lianne D.C. Zondag*, Veronique Y.F. Maas, Antje Beuckens, Marianne J. Nieuwenhuijze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Introduction: Intervention rates in perinatal care vary between and within countries, without populations’ characteristics as a full explanation. Research suggests that one factor in this variation might be the attitudes of perinatal health care providers. Systematic knowledge on the background of midwives’ attitudes and how this influences the use of interventions is limited. The study aim was to to explore experiences, beliefs, and values that influence midwives’ attitudes toward interventions in perinatal care. Methods: A qualitative study using in-depth interviews with primary care midwives (n = 20) in the Netherlands. The interviews were performed in June 2019 and combined a narrative approach with a semistructured interview guide. Inductive content analysis was applied. Results: We identified 2 main themes: attitudes toward interventions and influences on midwives’ attitudes. The midwives in our study described their attitudes toward interventions as oriented to either wait and see or check and control. Care based on wait and see displayed a more supportive style of behavior, and care based on check and control appeared to display a more directive style of behavior. In the theme of influences on midwives’ attitudes, 3 subthemes emerged: experiences in collaboration, trust and fear, and woman-centeredness. Discussion: Midwives with a wait and see attitude seem to have a more restricted approach toward interventions compared with midwives with a check and control attitude. Midwives need to be aware how their experiences, beliefs, and values shape their attitudes toward use of interventions. This awareness could be a first step toward the reduction of unwarranted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-625
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).


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