Exploring the experiences and perceptions of women about childbirth at birthing centers in Karachi, Pakistan

Nasim Akhtar, Shahnaz Shahid, Rafat Jan, Arusa Lakhani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of women about childbirth experiences at the birthing centers (BCs) in Karachi, Pakistan. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive exploratory approach was employed using semistructured interviews. PARTICIPANTS: A purposive sample of eight women who had used BCs was enrolled from each site. FINDINGS: Five themes emerged from content analysis including: (a) satisfaction with BC, (b) provision of homely environment, (c) promotion of normalcy, (d) facilitation of family support, and (e) protection of privacy. KEY CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the findings of the study revealed that women who used BCs were satisfied with the services and the environment provided to them by the midwives during the antenatal, intranatal, and postnatal periods. Most of the women appreciated the privacy offered at the BCs. They considered BCs as a safe, accessible, and affordable option for childbirth and encouraged others in the community to opt for it. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The findings of this study may help to advocate for births at BCs and provide women-friendly maternity care, by giving choice and control to women during childbirth, providing comfort to women by using fewer medical interventions, and promoting normalcy by attending spontaneous vaginal delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-226
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Childbirth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Birthing center
  • Cost-effective childbirth
  • Experiences of women
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Women and pregnancy


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