Creating a ‘safe’ place for birth: an empirically grounded theory

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Parratt, JA & Fahy, KM 2004, 'Creating a ‘safe’ place for birth: an empirically grounded theory', New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, vol. 30, pp. 11-14.

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This paper asks what effect birth space has on women’s birth experience and outcome. Theorises how midwives can provide an holistically safe birth place. Reporting unpublished aspects of qualitative feminist research comparing the midwifery model with medical model care on women’s sense of self in childbirth it builds on the model of ‘midwifery partnership’. The paper illustrates how medical control imposes a predetermined concept of safe birth environment whereas in the midwifery model an ‘holistically safe’ space is jointly constructed by midwife and woman. This model enables the woman to feel in control of her birth space, respond intuitively and facilitate her potential for a safe, natural birth.

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