Home sweet home birth : a qualitative study on the perceptions and experiences of home birth : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The management of pregnancy and childbirth, and the home as a location of birth, are all topics subject to considerable debate. Such debate often relies on emotive appeal rather than reference to relevant research. A series of three interviews were conducted with seven women planning home births. The most important reasons why women decided to have a home birth were the desire to have an established relationship with their midwife, wanting continuity of care from their midwife, wanting family involvement in the birth and wishing to retain control and avoid interventions. Postnatally, in most instances, high levels of satisfaction were expressed by women about the quantity and quality of information they received, the care they received from health professionals, their satisfaction with the birth experience and with their relationships with health professionals. Most women did not experience feelings of loss of control at the birth and the majority of women did not experience feelings of depression postnatally. Women's perceptions of pregnancy and childbirth were in accordance with the midwifery model of childbirth and it is proposed that women seeking home births hold a deeper and more encompassing belief in the tenets of the midwifery model in comparison to women who have hospital births. Findings are also in accordance with other research, both national and international.