Objective: To gain an insight into women’s lived experiences of inpatient cervical ripening, in the context
of usual care, whilst they were admitted as inpatients on an antenatal ward.
Methods: A qualitative design was used guided by an interpretative phenomenological approach. Seven
women who had experienced inpatient cervical ripening on an antenatal ward in Wales (UK) agreed to
participate in the study. Data were gathered from semi-structured interviews and analysed thematically.
Results: Four overarching themes were identified relating to participants’ support from significant others,
their understanding of the procedure, perception of their own physiological sensations, and their sense
of freedom within the ward environment.
Conclusions: Strict adherence to ward rules and procedures appeared to undermine women’s experiences
of cervical ripening as inpatients on an antenatal ward. Facilitating the continued presence of family
members, improving the provision of information, listening to women and enhancing their perception
of freedom within the ward environment are strategies that may have a positive influence on women’s
experiences of inpatient cervical ripening. This study has provided an insight into women’s experiences
of usual care, during the cervical ripening procedure, as inpatients on an antenatal ward.