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Table 3 The role of the relationship with caregivers and fathers

From: Impact of mode of delivery on the birth experience in first-time mothers: a qualitative study


Roles of caregivers

Inform, reassure, support

« I arrived a little panicked, I started to cry but there was a great team, they reassured me. » (Monica, elective CS)

« The one I was looking for was the midwife. I was looking for her, she reassured me, she explained me what was happening. Frankly, I would not have experienced the delivery like this without her. » (Tania, instrumental VD)

Non-verbal communication

« They saw toward what we were being directed (CS) faster than me. Seeing their eye contacts was a bit scary. » (Karine, emergency CS)


Roles of caregivers

Passive support by simple presence

« Whatever it was - the midwife or my partner - to feel supported. » (Lily, instrumental VD)

« My husband was next to me, I was reassured. » (Anemone, emergency CS)

Active support, coaching

« My husband knows that I cannot breathe with strong inspirations. He told me to imagine that I was running with someone hyper-athletic. » (Natacha, instrumental VD)

« He (husband) said “it is not a failure, you will not be less compared to others”. » (Charlotte, spontaneous VD with epidural)

Witness of the events to trace the true story thereafter

« Once back home, I could relive those moments that I had not realized, it is mostly him (the dad) who told me everything that had happened. » (Monica, elective CS)

« I have small flashes of my delivery, but whenever I mention them, my partner explains me that it did not happen like that. » (Laura, instrumental VD)

Tool for women, midwives

« I really leaned on my husband and he counterbalanced. The midwife had shown him how to massage me, but it did not work well enough so I told him “You’re not effective”. At once, the midwife took over. The next day, I made fun of him because when he arrived he said “Ah! I have a sore leg!”. I looked at him and said “No, but wait, this is a joke, you are not the one who delivered”. In fact, I leaned hard on his leg so I think that he must have been hurt, but I told him “Well, I don”t think that it’s appropriate for you to complain”. » (Sophie, spontaneous VD without analgesia)

  1. CS = Caesarean section VD = Vaginal delivery.