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When choice becomes limited: women’s experiences of delay in labour

journal contribution
posted on 22.10.2015, 10:58 by Natalie Armstrong, Sara Kenyon
Choice and patient involvement in decision-making are strong aspirations of contemporary healthcare. One of the most striking areas in which this is played out is maternity care where recent policy has focused on choice and supporting normal birth. However, birth is sometimes not straightforward and unanticipated complications can rapidly reduce choice. We draw on the accounts of women who experienced delay during labour with their first child. This occurs when progress is slow, and syntocinon is administered to strengthen and regulate contractions. Once delay has been recognised the clinical circumstances limit choice. Drawing on Mol’s work on the logics of choice and care, we explore how, although often upsetting, women accepted that their choices and plans were no longer feasible. The majority were happy to defer to professionals who they regarded as having the necessary technical expertise, while some adopted a more traditional medical model and actively rejected involvement in decision making altogether. Only a minority wanted to continue active involvement in decision-making, although the extent to which the possibility existed for them to do so was questionable. Women appeared to accept that their ideals of choice and involvement had to be abandoned, and that clinical circumstances legitimately changed events.

History

Citation

Health (London), 2015, 1363459315617311

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Health (London)

Publisher

SAGE Publications (UK and US)

issn

1363-4593

eissn

1461-7196

Acceptance date

15/10/2015

Copyright date

2015

Available date

22/10/2015

Publisher version

http://hea.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/12/08/1363459315617311.abstract

Language

en

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