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J Perinat Educ. 2008 Fall;17(4):21-32. doi: 10.1624/105812408X364143.

Preparing for the first birth: mothers' experiences at home and in hospital in australia.

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  • 1HANNAH DAHLEN is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Technology - Sydney.


The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of a group of first-time mothers who had given birth at home or in hospital in Australia. Data were generated from in-depth interviews with 19 women and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. One of the categories to emerge from the analysis, "Preparing for Birth," is discussed in this article. Preparing for Birth consisted of two subcategories, "Finding a Childbirth Setting" and "Setting Up Birth Expectations," which were mediated by beliefs, convenience, finances, reputation, imagination, education and knowledge, birth stories, and previous life experiences. Overall, the women who had planned home births felt more prepared for birth and were better supported by their midwives compared with women who had planned hospital births.


childbirth education; first birth; home birth; hospital birth; mothers

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