Exploring women’s experience of uterine fundal pressure during second stage of labour at Midwives-led Obstetric Unit (MOU) in East London, South Africa
Uterine Fundal Pressure (UFP), an age-long birthing procedure is applied on the uppermost part of a woman’s abdomen in order to accelerate childbirth. This study explores the experiences of women during the application of uterine fundal pressure during the second stage of labour in a Midwives-led Obstetric Unit (MOU) in East London, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The study applied interpretive phenomenological analysis involving three purposively sampled women. A semi-structured in-depth interview schedule was used to gather information on the experiences of the women when UFP is applied during the second stage of labour. Thematic content analysis was applied to synthesise the data. The findings indicated that the informants had feelings of fear, loneliness, worry and tearfulness; but also experienced happiness and relief associated with UFP, especially afterseeing their new-borns for the first time thus marking the end of birthing process.The findings further showed that the midwives did not properly inform the pregnant women about what to expect during the second stage of their labour, but expected them to know what was happening to them during the UFP and how to react. The UFP is not a pleasant experience for the women during second stage of labour. Before its application, it is pertinent that midwives explain to the expectant mothers what the UFP process entails, the pain associated with the process; and where possible, a written informed consent should be obtained from the expectant mothers.
Keywords: Kristeller manoeuvre, uterine fundal pressure, second stage of labour, women’s experiences.