Ontario Midwifery Clients' Experiences with the Management of Hyperbilirubinemia


Faduma Gure, MSc, Tasha Macdonald, MHSc, RM, Alexa Minichiello, MScPl, and Sophia Kehler, RM



Hyperbilirubinemia is the most common reason for the hospitalization of a newborn within the first week of life. Very little is known, however, about the impact this diagnosis and subsequent management has on parents, particularly within the midwifery context. The Clinical Knowledge Translation department at the Association of Ontario Midwives conducted a multimethod qualitative research study in 2017 to better understand the experiences of midwifery clients whose newborns have been diagnosed with and required management of severe hyperbilirubinemia. Three focus-group discussions and one in-depth, in-person interview were conducted with midwifery clients in Ontario. Findings were analyzed using NVivo software, resulting in the extraction of key themes. Clients discussed how the transition from midwifery-led care to care being led by other health care providers in the hospital impacted them in the postpartum period. Clients also observed changes in the continuity of care provided by their midwives during management of hyperbilirubinemia, and discussed both the positive and negative impacts these changes had on their broader experience of the early postpartum period. These findings have informed the development of a series of knowledge translation tools that support midwives in providing optimal care to clients whose infants require phototherapy.


hyperbilirubinemia, midwifery, phototherapy, postnatal care, jaundice, neonatal, postpartum period


This article has been peer reviewed.


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