• childbearing women;
  • patient involvement;
  • research agenda;
  • women's experiences;
  • women's view


The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of women's views in maternity care research and practice: what we mean by that, how and when women's views are sought (or not), and what we should do next. It is argued that women's views are not a stand-alone extra, but integral at every stage, including having an impact on clinical outcomes. Attending to “women's views” should not only mean a post hoc assessment of experiences but also needs to consider expectations and values. Importantly, this approach needs to apply not only to the care of individual women but also to the shaping of research and policy agendas. Recommendations are made for ways in which women's views can have a more central role in research and practice in the future. (BIRTH 39:4 December 2012)