To purchase or authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/birt.12149/abstract Byline: Kirstie Coxon, Jane Sandall, Naomi J. Fulop Keywords: hospital birth; narrative research; out-of-hospital birth; risk Abstract Background A perception that first birth is more risky than subsequent births has led to women planning births in obstetric units (OU) and to care providers supporting these choices. This study explored the influence of pregnancy and birth experiences on women's intended place of birth in current and future pregnancies. Methods Prospective, longitudinal narrative interviews (n = 122) were conducted with 41 women in three English National Health Service sites. During postnatal interviews, women reflected on their recent births and discussed where they might plan to give birth in a future pregnancy. Longitudinal narrative analysis methods were used to explore these data. Results Women's experience of care in their eventual place of birth had more influence on decisions about the (hypothetical) next pregnancy than planned place of birth during pregnancy did. Women with complex pregnancies usually planned hospital (OU) births, but healthy women with straightforward pregnancies also chose an OU and would often plan the same for the future, particularly if they experienced giving birth in an OU setting during recent births. Discussion The experience of giving birth in a hospital OU reinforced women's perceptions that birth is risky and uncertain, and that hospital OUs are best equipped to keep women and babies safe. The assumption that women will opt for lower acuity settings for second or subsequent births was not supported by these data, which may mean that multiparous women who best fit criteria for non-OU births are reluctant to plan births in these settings. This highlights the importance of providing balanced information about risks and benefits of different birth settings to all women during pregnancy. Article Note: Naomi J. Fulop worked at KCL while this research was conducted.