A longitudinal qualitative study of women’s experiences of postnatal care following hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

Sergio A. Silverio, Amanda Bye, Rosie Hildersley, Olivia Chingara, Yan-Shing Chang, Debra Bick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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There has been little focus on women’s views of care and recovery following pregnancy complicated by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy [HDP] despite long-term implications for maternal health.

Increasingly in clinical research, areas of interest include the extent to which women are involved in postnatal care planning, perceived value of routine postnatal contacts, lifestyle behaviour advice, and extent to which ongoing concerns about HDP could be discussed with healthcare professionals.

This study explored women’s experiences of birth-recovery up to 12 months following HDP.

A longitudinal qualitative study using semi-structured interviews at four and 12 months postpartum. Twenty-four women who each had a form of HDP, were recruited using a maximum variation, purposive sampling strategy from four National Health Service maternity units in London, 21 of whom were interviewed at both time points. Data were collected and analysed by timepoint following a recurrent, cross-sectional cohort approach using template analysis methodology.

Four main themes and ten sub-themes were identified. Main themes included: assumptions about blood pressure; perinatal experiences; postnatal care pathways; and managing complex health conditions.

Postnatal care needs to be tailored to women’s individual needs following HDP, with ongoing review by relevant clinicians during and beyond the first six weeks. Many women with HDP have ongoing information needs about hypertensive status, treatment and prognoses, and future birth planning.

Policy makers, health providers and funders cannot continue to ignore the need to ensure postnatal services meet the needs of women who have experienced medically complex pregnancies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-468
Number of pages9
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number5
Early online date14 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • postnatal
  • maternal morbidity
  • hypertensive disorders
  • clinicians
  • primary care
  • secondary care


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