Exploring the Competing Risk Rationalities Surrounding Surgical Birthing Interventions: The Risk Positions of Expectant Mothers and Issues Surrounding Informed Choice

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Spofford, Victoria Anne




Contrary to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of 10-15%, Canada’s caesarean section (C-section) rate is presently greater than 27%, making it the most common surgical procedure performed each year (CIHI 2015b). This thesis seeks to establish a link between the risk discourses present in popular sources of pregnancy-related information and the alarming national C-section rate. This is achieved using a mixed methods approach. Data from the Maternity Experiences Survey (MES) is used to assess the sociodemographic context of C-section in Canada. This is followed by a qualitative description analysis of the risk discourses present in several popular sources of pregnancy-related information. Notably, findings suggest that the type of care provider and the type of birth have an impact of women’s satisfaction with the information they received leading up to labour and delivery. The implications of these findings within the broader context of the Canadian maternity care culture are explored.






Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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