Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine

2 Department of Epidemiology, School of Health,

3 Department of Adult Health Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Pregnancy and birth are unique processes for women. Women and families
hold different expectation during childbearing based on their knowledge, experiences, belief
systems, culture, and social and family backgrounds. These differences should be understood
and respected, and care is adapted and organized to meet the individualized needs of women
and families. The purpose of this study was to explore Iranian parturient needs, values and
preferences during normal labor and delivery. Materials and Methods: An exploratory
qualitative study was used. Twenty‑four parturient women from three governmental medical
training centers in Isfahan, Iran were recruited using purposive sampling. Participants were
recruited to low‑risk women after they had given birth, but before they were discharged from
hospital. Data were collected through semi‑structured in‑depth interviews, informal observations
and field notes. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by the conventional content
analysis according to Graneheim and Lundman approach. Results: Women’s needs and
expectations fell into seven main categories: Physiological, psychological, informational, social
and relational, esteem, security and medical needs. All of the key needs in these data relates to
a fundamental need, named “sense of control and empowerment in childbirth.” Conclusion:
Knowing a woman’s needs, values, preferences and expectations during normal labor and
delivery assists healthcare professionals especially midwives in providing high‑quality care to
parturient women.


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