A questioned authority meets well-informed pregnant women: a qualitative study examining how midwives perceive their role in dietary counselling
2015 (English)In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, ISSN 1471-2393, E-ISSN 1471-2393, Vol. 15, no 1, 88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: During pregnancy and afterward, a healthy diet is beneficial for the expecting mother and her foetus. Midwives in antenatal care have an ideal position for promoting healthy diets. Dietary counselling is however complex and recommendations can be controversial. While pregnant women struggle with dietary recommendations, midwives struggle with a lack of authority. The aim of the study was therefore to describe how midwives perceive their role and their significance in dietary counselling of pregnant women.
METHODS: An interview study was conducted that involved twenty-one (21) experienced midwives, who worked in the Swedish prenatal health care. A qualitative content analysis was conducted.
RESULTS: Pregnant women were perceived to be well informed, but they needed guidance to interpret information on the Internet. They were described as rigorous and eager information seekers who needed guidance to interpret information as they were worried and emotional. The midwives saw themselves as a questioned authority who lacked support. This meant being informative and directive though not always updated or listened to. Their impact was uncertain and they could also lack sufficient competence to counsel in delicate issues.
CONCLUSION: The midwives' directive role may obstruct the women's needs to manage the dietary recommendations and risk evaluation in a women-centred dialogue. Midwives need to acknowledge pregnant women as both well informed and skilled if they are going to develop woman-centred antenatal care. Ongoing training and self-reflection will be needed to make this change.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2015. Vol. 15, no 1, 88
Antenatal care, Midwifery, Dietary counselling, Role change, Qualitative content analysis
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102826DOI: 10.1186/s12884-015-0523-2ISI: 000353103400001PubMedID: 25879462OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-102826DiVA: diva2:811223