Patient choice for caesarean delivery (CD) is complex. This choice poses a challenge to maternity Health Care Providers (HCPs) in terms of resource allocation, economics, and surgical risks. Yet, women’s understanding of choice is poorly understood.
This study answers the question: how HCPs might understand women’s choice for CD? Four primiparous women who chose a CD were recruited. Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data. The interpretation followed a hermeneutic approach.
The interpretations emphasized the complexities of choice, HCPs’ role in birth experiences, and how the woman in this study understood vaginal deliveries as risky and unpredictable and caesarean deliveries as safe and controlled.
These findings question how HCP’s understandings of choice can shape patient care. HCPs have the opportunity to recognize the meaning of the choice for each woman and how it is situated in a broader historical context, and how they can promote positive birth experiences in their practice.