Maternal Confidence for Physiologic Childbirth: A Concept Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: Confidence is a term often used in research literature and consumer media in relation to birth, but maternal confidence has not been clearly defined, especially as it relates to physiologic labor and birth. The aim of this concept analysis was to define maternal confidence in the context of physiologic labor and childbirth. Methods: Rodgers’ evolutionary method was used to identify attributes, antecedents, and consequences of maternal confidence for physiologic birth. Databases searched included Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Sociological Abstracts from the years 1995 to 2015. A total of 505 articles were retrieved, using the search terms pregnancy, obstetric care, prenatal care, and self-efficacy and the keyword confidence. Articles were identified for in-depth review and inclusion based on whether the term confidence was used or assessed in relationship to labor and/or birth. In addition, a hand search of the reference lists of the selected articles was performed. Twenty-four articles were reviewed in this concept analysis. Results: We define maternal confidence for physiologic birth as a woman's belief that physiologic birth can be achieved, based on her view of birth as a normal process and her belief in her body's innate ability to birth, which is supported by social support, knowledge, and information founded on a trusted relationship with a maternity care provider in an environment where the woman feels safe. Discussion: This concept analysis advances the concept of maternal confidence for physiologic birth and provides new insight into how women's confidence for physiologic birth might be enhanced during the prenatal period. Further investigation of confidence for physiologic birth across different cultures is needed to identify cultural differences in constructions of the concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • concept analysis
  • maternal confidence
  • physiologic birth
  • physiologic labor
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal care
  • self-efficacy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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