“Talk to me, not at me”: obese women’s experiences of birth and their encounter with birth attendants—a qualitative study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 2020, 15 (1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2020.1845286
Purpose: To explore the birth experiences of obese women in regard to their encounter with birth attendants. Methods: Qualitative, in-depth interviews with 10 women were conducted in February 2020. Data were analysed using a descriptive phenomenological method. Results: Four interrelated constituents were identified: The preconception and prejudice of being unhealthy and less able; Being unique among all the other unique women; “Talk to me, not at me”—the importance of information and communication, and; Feeling secure enough to be in the 'birthing bubble'. Conclusion: For the women in our study, being obese meant experiencing challenges as well as opportunities during childbirth and in their encounter with birth attendants. Experiences of preconceptions, alienation, a focus on risk, and a loss of autonomy in encounters with birth attendants were found to negatively impact the birthing process. The women desired affirmative and inclusive encounters; these kinds of encounters may improve the birth experiences of obese women.