Shoulder dystocia: A panic station or an opportunity for post-traumatic growth?

Minooee, Sonia, Cummins, Alison, Foureur, Maralyn, and Travaglia, Joannne (2021) Shoulder dystocia: A panic station or an opportunity for post-traumatic growth? Midwifery, 101. 103044.

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Background: Traumatic births are considered as challenging events in the professional life of midwives. Negative emotional and psychological consequences of these births on midwives are well-established. However, evidence suggests that in the aftermath of challenging events, such as birth traumas, positive outcomes may emerge as well. Based on the literature, shoulder dystocia (SD) is known as one of the most traumatic birth experiences for midwives. In this study we aimed to explore the impact of experiencing SD complicated births on clinical practice of midwives.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was undertaken. Midwives who had an experience of at least one case of SD were invited to the study through the Australian College of Midwives. In-depth interviews were conducted with 25 midwives. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach.

Results: Three themes were identified 1) Putting on a brave face 2) Towards the growth zone 3) I am resilient enough to recover, because of …. Experience of SD was described as a dreadful event in midwives’ career. However, on reflection, this experience was considered as a benefit which developed midwives’ clinical expertise and contributed to their professional empowerment. Having faith in birth normality, support from workplace, seniority/ years of experience and self-confidence were among the factors which helped midwives in overcoming the stress after SD.

Conclusion: There needs to be greater awareness about the consequences of traumatic births such as SD for midwives. Collegial support has a critical role in helping midwives to have a positive outlook on their traumatic experience and to ease their pathway of professional growth.

Item ID: 81203
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-3099
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2023 01:20
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420401 Clinical midwifery @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200306 Midwifery @ 100%
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