Reviewing birth experience following a high-risk pregnancy: A feasibility study

Valgerður Lísa Sigurðardóttir, Jenny Gamble, Berglind Guðmundsdóttir, Herdís Sveinsdóttir, Helga Gottfreðsdóttir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Complications during pregnancy and birth are known risk factors for negative birth experience. Women value the opportunity to review their birth experiences, but limited knowledge exists about appropriate interventions and the feasibility of providing this care for women following high-risk pregnancies.

To describe the construction and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a postpartum midwifery counselling intervention for women following high-risk pregnancies.

A mixed-method study.

A high-risk antenatal outpatient clinic at Landspítali University Hospital in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Sample, recruitment and data collection
Thirty women who experienced high-risk pregnancies were invited to write about and review their birth experience with a known midwife 4–6 weeks postpartum. Eight midwives working in a high-risk antenatal clinic provided the intervention after a special training. Data including birth outcomes, birth experience and experience of the intervention were collected by questionnaires from women at two time points before and after the counselling intervention. Midwives providing the intervention completed diaries and participated in focus group interview to explore their experiences of the process.

Data analysis
Descriptive and content analysis.

Women and midwives perceived the intervention positively and feasible in this context. Midwives evaluated the pre-training program as helpful. Most women would like to review their birth experience with a midwife they know, 4-6 weeks postpartum. Almost half of the women wrote about their birth experiences.

Key conclusions
The findings indicate that women experiencing high-risk pregnancies might benefit from a follow up by a midwife they know. Women and midwives perceived the counselling intervention as an acceptable and feasible option in maternity care. The training program sufficiently prepared the midwives to provide the counselling intervention.

Implications for practice
The findings provide an opportunity to offer the intervention on a larger scale to explore the effects further and subsequently implement into routine care after birth for high-risk women.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103508
Early online date3 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


The study received financial support from Landspitali – The National University Hospital Research Fund. Funding Information: We would like to thank the midwives who provided the interviews, to the co-workers who volunteered in the audiotaped test-interview and the women who took time to participate in the study. Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge Agnes Björg Tryggvadóttir, Cand Psych and Dr. Berglind Hálfdánsdóttir Midwife for input in the pre-training of midwives, Erla Björk Jónsdóttir for typing data, Embla Ýr Guðmundsdóttir for moderating the focus group and Guðný Bergþóra Tryggvadóttir for assistance in statistical analysis. The study received financial support from Landspítali – The University Hospital Research Fund


  • Childbirth experience
  • Midwife-led counselling
  • intervention
  • Postpartum
  • Feasibility study
  • Mixed methods


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