A Qualitative Study of US Women's Perspectives on Confidence for Physiologic Birth in the Birth Center Model of Prenatal Care

Carrie E. Neerland, Arielle E. Skalisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of the components of the US birth center model of prenatal care and how the birth center prenatal care model contributes to birthing people's confidence for physiologic childbirth. Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study using semistructured interviews with individuals who gave birth in freestanding birth centers. Birthing people were recruited from freestanding birth centers in a Midwestern US state and were between the ages of 18 and 42, were English-speaking, and had experienced a birth center birth within the previous 6 months. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Glaser's constant comparative method. Results: Twelve women who gave birth in birth centers, representing urban and rural settings, participated. Four core categories were identified encompassing the components of birth center prenatal care and how the birth center model contributes to women's confidence for physiologic birth: birth center culture and processes, midwifery model of care within the birth center, internal influences, and outside influences. Discussion: Women who gave birth in birth centers believed that the birth center culture and environment, the midwifery model of care in the birth center, internal influences including the belief that birth is a normal physiologic process, and outside influences including family support and positive birth stories contributed to their confidence for physiologic birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-441
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this study was provided by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the birth centers that partnered with us and the women who shared their experiences and perspectives for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives


  • birth center
  • confidence
  • midwifery
  • physiologic birth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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