Aims, processes and problems of antenatal education as identified by three groups of childbirth teachers

Midwifery. 1997 Dec;13(4):179-88. doi: 10.1016/s0266-6138(97)80004-6.


Objective: To establish whether variations exist in the philosophy and approach of three groups of childbirth teachers working in different organisations in the UK.

Participants: Two midwifery Parentcraft Sisters working in the UK maternity services, three National Childbirth Trust Antenatal Teachers and two Active Birth Teachers working in the voluntary sector, and two Midwife Teachers.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed using a grounded theory approach to identify common categories.

Findings: All three groups of teachers identified similar aims for antenatal education, with the need to build clients' confidence in their ability to give birth and care for their babies as the most important. However, the process by which the various teachers attempted to realise their aims appeared to be very different.

Implications for practice: In order to ensure the prioritization of antenatal education with purchasers and providers, childbirth teachers need to define more clearly the criteria by which it can be audited.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nurse Midwives / psychology*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Parents / education*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / organization & administration*