African American Women & Unplanned Cesarean Birth

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Purpose: To describe unplanned cesarean birth as experienced by African American women.

Method: Descriptive phenomenology was used with interviews from seven women who experienced unplanned cesarean birth. Interviews of each woman's birth experience were transcribed and analyzed using Colaizzi's descriptive, phenomenological method.

Results: The findings were clustered into five themes: preparing for childbirth, mistrust, feeling rushed, being fearful, and sacrificing.

Clinical implications: The results from this study contribute to the understanding of psychosocial stressors that are associated with childbirth complicated by unplanned cesarean birth. This study lends evidence to our practice by providing information about how important anticipatory guidance is for expectant women because the possibility of cesarean birth in today's environment is not remote. Discussions about unplanned cesarean births should also be a part of this anticipatory guidance.