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This article shares a study done on the experience of maternal health care from the perspectives of women themselves. The results emphasize personal and relational dimensions of women’s experiences with care providers over medical dimensions; correspondingly, the childbearing women’s personal sense of empowerment and/or disempowerment was salient, while experiences of pain were scarcely mentioned.
Maternal health care providers play a significant role in shaping women’s childbearing experiences. While there is increasing recognition of the importance of understanding psychosocial processes for childbearing women, there is a lack of research from the perspectives of women themselves. For this study, women were asked about incidents that optimized and disturbed their perinatal experience, and about what they had originally hoped for in these experiences. The results emphasize personal and relational dimensions of women’s experiences with care providers over medical dimensions; correspondingly, the childbearing women’s personal sense of empowerment and/or disempowerment was salient, while experiences of pain were scarcely mentioned.
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