To characterize reasons women chose midwives as prenatal care providers and to measure the relationship between midwifery care and patient–provider communication in the U.S. context. Retrospective analysis of data from a nationally-representative survey of women who gave birth in 2011–2012 to a single newborn in a U.S. hospital (n = 2,400). We used multivariate logistic regression models to characterize women who received prenatal care from a midwife, to describe the reasons for this choice, and to examine the association between midwife-led prenatal care and women’s reports about communication. Preference for a female clinician and having a particular clinician assigned was associated with higher odds of midwifery care (AOR = 2.65, 95 % CI 1.70, 4.14 and AOR = 1.63, 95 % CI 1.04, 2.58). A woman with midwifery care had lower odds of reporting that she held back questions because her preference for care was different from her provider’s recommendation (AOR = 0.46, 95 % CI 0.23, 0.89) or because she did not want to be perceived as difficult (AOR = 0.48, 95 % CI 0.28, 0.81). Women receiving midwifery care also had lower odds of reporting that the provider used medical words were hard for them to understand (AOR = 0.58, 95 % CI 0.37, 0.91) and not feeling encouraged to discuss all their concerns (AOR = 0.54, 95 % CI 0.34, 0.89). Women whose prenatal care was provided by midwives report better communication compared with those cared for by other types of clinicians. Systems-level interventions, such as assigning a clinician, may improve access to midwifery care and the associated improvements in patient–provider communication in maternity care.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Maternal health
- Patient choice
- Patient-centered care