RESEARCH PAPER
Antenatal education for childbirth: Labour and birth
Lisa Cutajar 1, 2  
,  
Michelle Miu 3
,  
Allan M. Cyna 3, 4
,  
 
 
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1
UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
2
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Birth Unit, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, Australia
3
Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, Australia
4
Acute Care Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Lisa Cutajar   

Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Birth Unit, Nepean Hospital, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Kingswood 2747, PO Box 63, Penrith, NSW, Australia
Publication date: 2020-04-23
Submission date: 2020-02-12
Final revision date: 2020-04-01
Acceptance date: 2020-04-01
 
Eur J Midwifery 2020;4(April):11
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
This study aimed to identify the way information is described and presented by childbirth educators during antenatal classes for expectant parents, and analyse the language structures used when discussing labour and birth.

Methods:
This cross-sectional study of antenatal education was conducted at a single tertiary referral centre for Maternity Care in Western Sydney, Australia. All childbirth educators (n=3) were recorded whilst providing information to parents during antenatal classes. Audio data were subsequently transcribed and then analysed by two researchers, independently categorising the various language structures and types of information provided. This is the second study in a series of antenatal education topics.

Results:
During the labour and birth class, information statements were the predominant language structure that was spoken with 241 of 655 statements; negative statements were the next most frequent at 119 while there were 79 positive statements. The second stage of labour had a greater proportion of negative statements for two educators, followed by information and positive statements combined. Misinformation statements were minimal for this topic however, and there was an absence of any statements discussing the rest period between contractions.

Conclusions:
The findings further emphasise the need to examine the language used by health professionals when educating parents. Negative statements during antenatal education are still common despite research in other contexts suggesting that these are potentially unhelpful. Further research into the language and suggestions used during antenatal education is required to determine whether improved outcomes seen in other contexts are confirmed in the childbirth setting.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We thank the childbirth educators and parents at Nepean Hospital for their participation in this study.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
FUNDING
There was no source of funding for this research.
PROVENANCE AND PEER REVIEW
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
 
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