Women’s Experiences of Emotional Recovery from Childbirth-Related Perineal Trauma: A Qualitative Content analysis

Document Type: Original Article


1 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: The postpartum health care program in Iran is limited to the first six weeks of delivery
and only focuses on women’s physical problems. It seems that the issue of emotional recovery is
underestimated in postnatal women with prenatal injuries. This study was designed to explore women’s
experiences of emotional recovery from childbirth-related perineal trauma.
Methods: This qualitative content analysis was performed on 22 postnatal women with perineal trauma
during labor at Omol-banin Hospital from the 20th of April to 25th of December in Mashhad, Iran in
2016. The participants were purposively selected between 10 days to one year after childbirth. Data
were collected through semi-structured interviews and saturated after 26 interviews. The analysis
of data was concurrently carried out using conventional content analysis adopted by Elo and Kyngas
(2008). The MAXQDA software (Ver.10) was used for data organization.
Results: Emotional recovery after birth trauma is defined as going on a journey from negative emotions
to subjective well-being. Two super-ordinate generic categories emerged from the analysis: 1) feeling
trapped in multifaceted issues, and 2) regaining possession of life. The participants encountered
numerous concerns initially and with the help of family and community support, they regained the
ability to dominate life and develop a pleasant mood. Improving physical functions had an essential
role in regaining emotional well-being and enjoying daily life.
Conclusion: The results of this study promoted our understanding of the emotional recovery in women
with childbirth-related perineal trauma. This helps the caregivers to understand woman’s emotional
concerns and needs in order to offer appropriate counseling services.



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