Chinese women's perceptions of the effectiveness of antenatal education in the preparation for motherhood
Aim of the Study. This was an exploratory descriptive study using mixed methodology to investigate Hong Kong Chinese women's perceptions of the effectiveness of antenatal education in their preparation for motherhood.
Design. In the first phase, the structure and process of five antenatal classes on the topic of motherhood were observed using an observation guide. In the second phase 11 women who had attended the antenatal classes were interviewed in two focus groups, using a semi-structured interview guide.
Findings. In respect to the structure of the classes women revealed that large class sizes and the didactic mode of teaching inhibited learning. While they were satisfied with the date and time of antenatal classes, and the information about self and baby care being provided, they felt unprepared for the demands of motherhood. Further themes identified from the analysis were: anticipating personal needs for antenatal preparation for motherhood, unrealistic preparation for breastfeeding problems, inadequate preparation for baby care, unfulfilled informational needs and conflicting advice from antenatal educators.
Conclusion. The conclusion highlights Chinese culturally specific changes needed in the content and mode of antenatal education. In addition, recommendations are made for antenatal educators to work within a framework of adult Chinese learning styles in order to meet the educational needs of Chinese women.