The expectant couples’ expectations about childbirth
- Health Expectancy,
- empowerment for health,
- pair bond,
- Nurse Midwives
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Background: Pregnancy and labour are the previous stages of motherhood and paternity and the beginning of the acquisition of the parental role, and the way in which labour is experienced can influence this transition. In order to promote positive birth experiences, it is essential to ensure care centred on the expectant couple, where their expectations and preferences for their labour should be considered as an integral component of care. Objective: The present study, inserted in a larger investigation, aimed to describe the describe the expectations of mother and father, as a “pregnant couple” regarding their labor. Methodology: Qualitative, exploratory-descriptive study. The participants were ten couples who attended the Childbirth Preparation Program at an obstetrics unit of a central hospital in central Portugal. The data collection technique was the semi-structured interview and data analysis performed using the Bardin content analysis method and the NVivo10 software. Results: Most participants demonstrated that they were involved in the planning of their labour and valued it as a normal and physiological event. All participants mentioned the importance of the father's presence and the quality of the relationship with health professionals and the mothers recognize a sense of responsibility for the success of labour. Parents identified the importance of their role as the mother's emotional support, although only half feel able to do so effectively. All participants reported trusting health professionals and accepting the proposed interventions, although they recognize that sometimes there may be some imposition of interventions, expressing a willingness to be involved in decision making. Most participants mentioned the importance of a family intimacy after the childbirth and value immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding. Conclusion: This study can contribute to the reflection and implementation of care models that privilege scientific and safe conduct and that increase couples' choice, responding to their expectations and needs.