Parent Perspectives on Labor and Delivery
The patient safety movement has historically focused on reducing medical error and preventing physical harm. Patient perspectives are needed to broaden our understanding of what safety means to patients and to improve current practice. Hearing from patients is especially important in the context of labor and delivery, as childbirth is a major life event that has a lasting impact on women and families. Many women perceive the experience of childbirth as traumatic (5% to 48%), and there is an opportunity for health care providers to help mitigate physical and psychological harm. We conducted a qualitative descriptive study where we interviewed women about their pregnancy and birth experiences in a hospital environment. Using open-ended inquiries, we asked women to relay stories of their hospital-based birth in their own words and explain what aspects of their experiences made them feel safe or unsafe.