• childbirth;
  • Greece;
  • labour;
  • maternity services;
  • qualitative

Sapountzi-Krepia D, Tsaloglidou A, Psychogiou M, Lazaridou C, Vehvilainen Julkunen K. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 583–590

Mothers' experiences of pregnancy, labour and childbirth: A qualitative study in Northern Greece

This qualitative study aims at describing the mothers' most positive and negative experiences during pregnancy, labour and childbirth, and at identifying the aspects of pregnancy monitoring and obstetric care that should be developed most urgently in the future. The sample consisted of 607 mothers. The data were analyzed using content analysis.

Mothers who preferred vaginal delivery believe that they do not interfere with nature and, consequently, their convalescence is easier and faster. Those who selected Caesarean section stress that they feel much safer because the whole process is well organized and controlled. The mothers' experiences are closely related with their interaction with the health-care professionals.

Psychological support, good education and delivery preparation courses are some of the factors that could contribute to the improvement of maternal services. The basis of prenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care should be influenced by the women's experiences of pregnancy, labour and childbirth.