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On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
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MATHIBE-NEKE, JM. The expectations of pregnant women regarding antenatal care. Curationis [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.3, pp.4-11. ISSN 2223-6279.

From a feminist perspective, research on childbirth and women's health is a means to a positive change that is conducted in partnership with women for their benefit. A patient-led National Health System (NHS) (Hillan, 1999) also calls for consultation with patients and the wider public for shaping the current and future health services. This study was aimed at exploring and describing the expectations that pregnant women have regarding antenatal care service by the midwife practitioner. In-depth interviews were conducted in an antenatal unit of an Academic Hospital in Gauteng Povince. Data saturation was reached with a sample of eighteen pregnant women who were conveniently selected. Data analysis ran concurrently with data collection. A manual content analysis as described by Tesch was used. Lincoln and Guba's method of ensuring trustworthiness was adopted (Lincoln & Guba, 1985:328). Literature was undertaken to compare the findings of this study with those of other previous studies. Women displayed several common expectations that led to the saturation of data. It also became apparent from the findings that each woman had varied expectations. There were also some commonalities within the women's expectations. Health care, as the major expectation and a basic human right, appeared to be basically fulfilled, with the exception of interactional characteristics such as the communication of information, guidance, involvement, the understanding and explanation of aspects, freedom of choice, punctuality, individualized care and continuity of care. The conclusions that were reached let to recommendations for nursing practice, education, research and the formulation of guidelines for the midwife practitioner for the implementation of effective antenatal care, based on the identified expectations.

Keywords : women; pregnancy; antenatal care service; expectations.

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