Trusting Women, Respecting Birth: Prenatal Care in Sweden
For many years Sweden has been known as one of the best places in the world to have a baby. The reasons for this include many policies and services which create a safe, secure, and supportive environment for women and children. One critical factor is the availability and quality of prenatal care services. Drawing on a year of observation, participation, and interviews, I describe Sweden’s prenatal care system from the perspectives of those who provide the services (midwives) and those who use them (pregnant women). I focus on three key aspects that help explain why care is good for mothers and produces good medical outcomes: a respect of birth as a natural process and women as capable of giving birth; accessible and standardized services; and childbirth preparation classes that focus on social support as well as medical information.
Thomas, Jan E., "Trusting Women, Respecting Birth: Prenatal Care in Sweden" (2009). Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering 11(1): 59-70. Faculty Publications. Paper 19.
Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering