• childbirth;
  • cues;
  • factors;
  • midwives;
  • suturing


From recalled childbirth cases, a series of cues and related factors were previously identified that were used by midwives when making decisions to suture or not suture perineal and associated trauma incurred during spontaneous vaginal delivery. This study aimed to determine the validity of these cues and related factors. A panel of 18 experienced midwives evaluated their content validity using the criteria of “necessity” and “sufficiency.” The two main cue categories—“bleeding” and “birth trauma”—were considered by 18 (100%) of the panel members to be necessary to assess. At least 16 (89%) panel members considered the following specific cues necessary to assess: in the bleeding category—type, flow, amount, and effect of application of pressure or ice; in the birth trauma category—trauma sites, trauma types, dimensions of trauma, types of tissue, alignment of tissue, edema, and bruising. Seventeen (94%) panel members considered seven woman-centred related factors that were necessary to assess and 14 (78%) considered the combination of all cues in bleeding, birth trauma, and related factors sufficient for making the decision to suture or not. The availability of these validated cues and related factors has the potential to guide a comprehensive assessment on which the decision to suture or not suture depends. This addition to the domain of midwifery knowledge enables educational preparation of midwives who will have the capacity to more adequately support women in childbirth.