Midwifery assessment of the perineum after childbirth: An exploration of competence and confidence
Maclellan J., Gould J., Lewis-Tulett S.
This study aimed to explore midwives’ experiences of perineal assessment and repair. In-depth interviews with 18 midwives generated three themes of confirming decision-making, justifying to self and others, and space for birth. We found perineal assessment and repair to be complex and embodied. We have named the learning system underpinning the journey to competence and confidence and recommend its incorporation into any student or preceptorship training model. This would move away from the dissatisfying task approach to perineal care after birth to a more holistic approach that supports women’s wellbeing and their physical function.