Turkish women's perceptions of antenatal education


Pınar Serçekuş, Dokuz Eylül University School of Nursing, Inciraltı, Izmir, 35340 Turkey; Tel: +90 232 4124751; Fax: +90 232 4124798; E-mail: pinarsercekus@gmail.com.


Serçekuş P. & Mete S. (2010) Turkish women's perceptions of antenatal education. International Nursing Review57, 395–401

Background:  Antenatal education is considered essential for expectant women. Although there are a number of studies on the effects of antenatal education, there are few studies featuring substantial evidence in this area. For this reason, the benefits have not been clearly defined.

Aim:  To describe women's perceptions of the effectiveness of antenatal education on pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period, and also to describe their impressions on the type of education received.

Methods:  A qualitative approach was used. The study featured 15 primipara women who had attended antenatal education. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and analysed using the content analysis method.

Findings:  The results of this study showed that education provided a basis of knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period. It was found that education could have positive effects on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, motherhood and infant care, and that it could at the same time have a positive or negative effect on fear of childbirth. Although different advantages were found to be perceived in both individual and group education, it was discovered that the study participants were much more satisfied with attending group sessions.

Key conclusions and implications for practice:  Antenatal education should be planned in such a way that its content and methodology do not increase fear. When the lower costs incurred and the higher satisfaction level attained are considered, group education appears to be the type of antenatal education that should be preferred.