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Tell me about your birth plan : call-out for research participants

Have you had a baby in 2021?
Could you give up to 90mins of your time to talk about your birth plan?

About Me : My name is Charlie. As well as supporting mothers and families as a doula and hypnobirthing teacher, I am writing an MA at the Centre for Women’s Studies, the University of York. I’m looking for women to take part in a research study looking at the purpose and use of birth plans by mothers in their second and subsequent pregnancies in the UK.

About You : You're a mother of two or more children. Your youngest child was born in 2021, either at home, at a birth centre or in hospital.

What is the purpose of the study? The purpose of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of why pregnant women write birth plans, and how they wish them to be used during late pregnancy, labour and birth. This insight can improve training for midwives and obstetricians, and guidance for pregnant women. These improvements have the potential to improve birth outcomes for individual women and maintain and protect the health of new mothers and their children more generally.

Why is the study being done? The writing of birth plans is encouraged in the UK, with the intention of facilitating informed choice and engaging women in shared decision making. However mothers, midwives and medics commonly recognise that the birth experience may not resemble the preferences outlined in the birth plan. This study aims to understand what expectations women have from their maternity care, to define the factors which they value in their maternity care and to clarify how they hope their birth plan will influence their care.

What’s involved? The purpose of this research is to describe and explore your subjective experience of writing and using your birth plan. I’d like to meet and interview you, using the birth plan you wrote for your most recent birth as stimulus for our conversation. Each interview will last about an hour – but allow about 90minutes in total. I’ll be interested to know about what prompted you to write your birth plan, what you included in your plan, how it was received by your care-givers, and how you felt about your birth experience.

Interviews will take place, preferably in-person (subject to COVID restrictions) in July 2021. If we are unable to meet in person, interviews will take place via Zoom.

Does it matter where or how my baby was born? Not at all. I am seeking to interview women who had their babies at home, at their birth centre and in hospital. It doesn’t matter at all whether your birth went as you had hoped, or took an unexpected turn.

How do I take part? If you would like to take part in this study, please email me at:

I will send you a complete information sheet so you can decide if you would like to take part. If you decide you would like to go ahead we will schedule our interview for a date in July 2021.

If you have any queries about this research please do not hesitate to contact Charlotte Edun at: Email: Centre for Women’s Studies, Grimstone House, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD. Research Project Supervisors: Dr. Rachel Alsop and Prof. Vicki Robinson. Chair of ELMPS Ethics Committee: Professor Tony Royle, email:


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