'Facing the wrong way': Exploring the Occipito Posterior position/back pain discourse from women's and midwives perspectives

Lee, Nigel, Kildea, Sue and Stapleton, Helen (2015) 'Facing the wrong way': Exploring the Occipito Posterior position/back pain discourse from women's and midwives perspectives. Midwifery, 31 10: 1008-1014. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2015.06.003

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Author Lee, Nigel
Kildea, Sue
Stapleton, Helen
Title 'Facing the wrong way': Exploring the Occipito Posterior position/back pain discourse from women's and midwives perspectives
Journal name Midwifery   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0266-6138
Publication date 2015-01-22
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.midw.2015.06.003
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 31
Issue 10
Start page 1008
End page 1014
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
to explore back pain in labour from the perspectives of women and midwives.

a qualitative study, which generated data through individual semi-structured interviews with postnatal women and focus groups with midwives. Data were analysed thematically.

two metropolitan maternity units in Queensland, Australia.

nine postnatal women and 11 midwives, all of whom had participated in a randomized controlled trial investigating the use of sterile water injections for back pain in labour.

two major themes were identified, including back pain in labour: accounts, rationalisations and coping strategies, and fetal position: destabilising the Occipito Posterior-back pain discourse.

Key conclusions
back pain may be severe in labour, may impact negatively upon women׳s labour and birth experiences, and interfere with their ability to cope as planned. The assumed relationship between fetal position and back pain in labour is a dominant discourse, albeit one which is lacking in empirical credibility. Nonetheless, the information provided to women by maternity professionals tended to reiterate customary practices and beliefs rather than factual knowledge. Increasingly, women refer to other sources, which may challenge the information provided by health professionals. Implications for practice: Back pain in labour is an under-researched area and the lack of solid evidence underpinning the advice provided to women has implications for labour management, and possibly for maternal and fetal outcomes. Care providers might usefully consider back pain as multifactorial, not always associated with OP position, and continue to seek evidence-based management strategies which address women׳s needs.
Keyword Back pain
Occipito posterior
Sterile water injections
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Mater Research Institute-UQ (MRI-UQ)
Official 2016 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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