Objective: To explore the potential benefits of skills-based childbirth preparation on first time mother's childbirth self-efficacy.
Design: An RCT of an education programme for skills-based childbirth preparation was conducted. Data were examined for significant differences between groups over time and at outcome.
Setting: First time New Zealand mothers completed the requirements of the study in the privacy of their own homes.
Participants: One hundred and eighty-two first time mothers who self-selected met eligibility and were recruited to the study. Of these 137 completed the study (75% retention rate).
Intervention: An anonymised version of The Pink Kit Method for Birthing Better® (CKT, 2001), a multi-media, skills-based and self-directed childbirth preparation programme. The course includes: breathing exercises, verbal and non-verbal communication exercises, tension reducing exercises, and body exercises as well as advice about stages, delivery methods, and when to use the skills.
Measurements: the Childbirth Self-Efficacy Inventory (Scale) (CBSEI), New Zealand Adaptation (Lowe, 1993) at 24 weeks and 36 weeks gestation.
Findings: There were no differences between groups in childbirth self-efficacy at the baseline measurement at 24 weeks gestation. At 36 weeks gestation the Intervention Group showed a significant increase in childbirth self-efficacy. The Intervention Group self-efficacy score was also statistically different from each of the control groups at 36 weeks gestation.
Key conclusions: A skills-based self-directed childbirth preparation programme was able to increase childbirth self-efficacy in a sample of first time mothers.
Implications: for practice: Women might be encouraged to participate in these types of skills-based programmes to aid childbirth.
Keywords: Childbirth; Childbirth preparation; Childbirth self-efficacy; First time mothers; Skills-based childbirth preparation.
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