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Transition to motherhood

Women and midwives deciding together on care

Publication date: 01 January 2015

Mothers (to be) increasingly wish to make their own choices in the care provided during the childbearing process, including pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.


Pregnant women increasingly wish to make their own choices in the care provided by midwives. Moreover, they wish to take responsibility for their own health and that of their babies. To be able to do this, women need proactive support from the midwife. This can be given shape by focusing on a joint decision-making process.

Joint decision forming and -making are, therefore, being emphasized in childbirth care. In this respect, it is important the women are given the opportunity to put forward their wishes and values for decisions and that care providers listen and cooperate in order to fulfil the desired choice. In this manner, mutual understanding may arise so that choices can be made in which the personal circumstances of the pregnant woman play an important part.

Although all this paints a rosy picture, it appears that the Royal Organisation of Midwives has no professional standard or directives for the midwives’ antenatal and postnatal care with regard to transition to motherhood. The conclusion is, therefore, that the guidance of midwives on the theme ‘Transition to motherhood’ is not systematically applied during the woman’s childbearing process.