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Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2011 Apr 6;6(2). doi: 10.3402/qhw.v6i2.5600.

First time pregnant women's experiences in early pregnancy.

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Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



There are few studies focusing on women's experiences of early pregnancy. Medical and psychological approaches have dominated the research. Taking women's experiences seriously during early pregnancy may prevent future suffering during childbirth.


To describe and understand women's first time experiences of early pregnancy.


Qualitative study using a phenomenological hermeneutic approach. Data were collected via tape-recorded interviews in two antenatal care units in Sweden. Twelve first time pregnant women in week 10-14, aged between 17 and 37 years participated.


To be in early pregnancy means for the women a life opening both in terms of life affirming and suffering. The central themes are: living in the present and thinking ahead, being in a change of new perspectives and values and being in change to becoming a mother.


The results have implications for the midwife's encounter with the women during pregnancy. Questions of more existential nature, instead of only focusing the physical aspects of the pregnancy, may lead to an improvement in health condition and a positive experience for the pregnant woman.


Early pregnancy; experiences of pregnancy; maternity care; midwifery and pregnancy; phenomenological hermeneutic

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