Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


The purpose of this study is to explore and evaluate the effectiveness of the Family Centered Birth Project and to increase the access of prenatal patients to the birthing classes conducted at Ramsey Family Physicians. This researcher is interested in determining what factors influence patients to attend on-site prenatal classes. Possible factors from the literature review include: existence of a supportive companion (i.e., someone present during delivery), or support system (i.e., someone that the patient identified as supportive), education level, transportation, child care, age, fear of delivery, denial, living arrangements, the cost of the birthing classes, domestic abuse, perceptions of the clinic and doctor, previous class attendance during previous pregnancies, the number of prenatal office visits, and how each patient is notified of the birthing classes. This clinic is located in an urban environment of a Midwest city that serves many persons living below the federally defined poverty level. The study population includes nine (53%) Caucasian women, six (35%) African American women, one (6%) Latino woman, and one Bi-racial woman (6%). All prenatal medical files were screened and a total of 17 women met the following criteria: all had pregnancy due dates within 1/1/94 and 2/15/94; were age eighteen or older; were able to speak, read and understand the English language; and used Ramsey Family Physicians for their primary care. Some characteristics of the study population (N=17) include 14 single parents, the mean age is 24.7, at ant least eleven women had a high school education or higher. Of the 17 prenatal women that were eligible for the study, three agreed to participate in in-depth exploratory interviews. Interviews for the sample population were conducted either at the participant's home or at the clinic/hospital. The first interview was given within the last trimester of pregnancy and the second interview was given within the first two weeks after the delivery of the child. The sample group were initially happier about their pregnancy (100%) compared to the study population (29%). All sample subjects had a supportive companion (i.e., someone with them during the delivery) or a defined support system (i.e., someone identified as supportive in their lives), where as 65% of the study population identified support. Future studies could explore different cultural beliefs and their influences on pregnancy. A larger sample size could also be beneficial.


SC 11.MSW.1994.Scherr.D

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