The woman, partner and midwife: An integration of three perspectives of labour when intrapartum transfer from a birth centre to a tertiary obstetric unit occurs
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Background: When transfer in labour takes place from a birth centre to a tertiary maternity hospital the woman, her partner and the midwife (the triad) are involved, representing three different perspectives. The purpose of this paper is to explore the integration of these intrapartum transfer experiences for the birth triad. Methods: Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological method of analysis was used to explore the 'lived' experiences of Western Australian women, their partners and midwives across the birth journey. Forty-five interviews were conducted. Findings: Findings revealed that experiences of intrapartum transfer were unique to each member of the triad (woman, partner and midwife) and yet there were also shared experiences. All three had three themes in common: 'The same journey through three different lenses'; 'In my own world' and 'Talking about the birth'. The woman and partner shared two themes: 'Lost birth dream' and 'Grateful to return to a familiar environment'. The woman and midwife both had: 'Gratitude for continuity of care model' and the partner and midwife both found they were: 'Struggling to adapt to a changing care model' and their 'Inside knowledge was not appreciated'. Conclusion: Insight into the unique integrated experiences during a birth centre intrapartum transfer can inform midwives, empowering them to better support parents through antenatal education before and by offering discussion about the birth and transfer after. Translation of findings to practice also reinforces how midwives can support their colleagues by recognising the accompanying midwife's role and knowledge of the woman.
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