The meaning of caring in prenatal care from Swedish women's perspectives
There is great satisfaction from the women's side of view with this kind of care, which means an almost 99% attendance. In particular, there is much confidence in medical science, and dissatisfaction with the care generally relates to shortcomings in terms of continuity and support from the midwife. Women sometimes feel they receive too little information and explanation about the content of prenatal care. There is also dissatisfaction if the expectant father or partner is not involved and there are comments that the number of visits is too few or has too long intervals between them 4.
The midwife in maternity care has the normal pregnancy as her goal and is supposed to have an overall perspective; however, the focus tends to be on medical content. Olsson says that despite knowing the importance of psychosocial care, midwives still focus to a great extent on medical–biological problems 7. Vos et al. 8 argue that it is important to pay attention to nonmedical risk factors and Waldenström 9 points out that despite the healthcare problem‐solving ability and increased medical safety, the experience of childbirth has not improved and there is a questioning of the separation of psychosocial and medical programmes; a more holistic approach would be preferable. Pregnant women need to share their story in the context of a safe relationship where professionalism and continuity are prominent 10. Research shows that providing support and individualised care means building relations and this promotes both physical and mental health in pregnant women 1.
Caring science research on pregnancy primarily focuses on deepening the knowledge of women's own experiences, which does not imply an opposition to a medical perspective. Women meet the physical challenges and risks of pregnancy in their own ways and women define their pregnancy in a different way than the externally applied diagnosis of disease and also negotiate the risk to normality 13. The caring relationship is often crucial when it comes to the experience of childbirth and a negative experience of encounter in care could mean lifelong disempowering 5.