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TITLE: 'Every pregnant woman needs a midwife'-the experiences of HIV affected women in Northern Ireland. OBJECTIVE: to explore HIV positive women's experiences of pregnancy and maternity care, with a focus on their interactions with midwives. DESIGN: a prospective qualitative study. SETTING: regional HIV unit in Northern Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: 22 interviews were conducted with 10 women at different stages of their reproductive trajectories. FINDINGS: the pervasive presence of HIV related stigma threatened the women's experience of pregnancy and care. The key staff attributes that facilitated a positive experience were knowledge and experience, empathy and understanding of their unique needs and continuity of care. KEY CONCLUSIONS: pregnancy in the context of HIV, whilst offering a much needed sense of normality, also increases woman's sense of anxiety and vulnerability and therefore the need for supportive interventions that affirm normality is intensified. A maternity team approach, with a focus on providing 'balanced care' could meet all of the woman and child's medical needs, whilst also emphasising the normalcy of pregnancy.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





132 - 138


Adult, Attitude of Health Personnel, Emotional Intelligence, Female, HIV, HIV Infections, HIV Seropositivity, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Maternal Health Services, Nurse Midwives, Nurse-Patient Relations, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious, Qualitative Research