An in-depth look at coping with maternity care in an efficiency-focused health system: Using capital and field concepts for a holistic approach
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Health Education Center, Tallinn Health Care College, Tallinn, Estonia
School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
Digital Health, Department of Health Technologies, School of Information Technologies, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Silja Mets-Oja   

Health Education Center, Tallinn Health Care College, Tallinn, Estonia
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A105
Although online health information and social networks can help women increase their health knowledge, maternity-care services are still primarily shaped by the actions and decisions of health professionals. Using an approach based on Bourdieu’s field theory. The present study explores, in the context of closures of rural obstetric units in Estonia, how young mothers’ usage of different forms of capital (economic, cultural, and social) at the various stages of maternity affects their coping with the associated difficulties at each stage. This study is based on 20 semi-structured interviews with young mothers in rural Estonia. The findings suggest that, from pregnancy, through childbirth, and into the postpartum stage, young mothers’ positions in the medical and information fields vary as the logics of these fields affect their capital usage. Paying attention to the intertwinement and differing logics of medical and information fields can help young mothers use their economic, cultural, and social capital to cope effectively. Further, this study revealed mixed effects of the closure of obstetric care units on young mothers’ coping, which stresses the need for context-sensitive and agency-oriented approaches in maternity care.
The authors are grateful to the participants of the research. Our thanks go to Riin Rosenperk for conducting the interviews and Ülle Ernits for guiding aspects of the research.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
This study was supported by Tallinn Health Care College [grant number 1-16/337].