Engaging with Women

The perspective of women has been critical in the planning and development of the Collaborative.  There have been consumer representatives working on the project from its inception including consumer representation on the;  

  • WHA Board of Directors
  • Expert Advisory Group
  • Educational Working Group 

In addition, all participating teams are encouraged to involve consumers throughout their improvement project.

Increasing Knowledge and asking for consent 

The project has highlighted the importance of engaging women antenatally in a conversation about their risk of tears and what strategies can reduce their chance of tearing.  The provision of information on risk of tears is important to assist women to make informed decisions about the care they want to receive.           

 

To aid women in accessing information and to facilitate discussion with women an information sheet has been developed.

Information sheet for Women. Our commitment to reducing avoidable third and fourth degree tears

The information was prepared by a consumer working group with medical and midwifery input.  The information then underwent five rounds of testing, in total almost 100 women have received this information sheet and provided feedback on this.  In addition clinicians in 5 tests sites have also had the opportunity to review and comment. 

The information sheet is aimed to be given to women at an antenatal appointment between 30 – 36 weeks.  The information sheet should;

  • increase knowledge of women about their risk of a tear
  • encourage a discussion in the antenatal period between women and care providers about the risk of tears and the interventions that will be offered
  • support women to make informed decision about their care

This antenatal discussion with women aims to introduce preventative strategies and allow women time to make informed decisions about the different elements of the bundle.  We believe this represents the best opportunity for our women to provide informed consent at the time of their labour and birth.