Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Maternal Child Nursing

First Advisor

Jacqueline McGrath

Second Advisor

Judith Lewis

Third Advisor

Martha Moon

Fourth Advisor

Dianne Simons

Abstract

Background: Due to the profound and life-changing aspects of giving birth and to each woman’s individualized birthing experience, it is important to understand the myriad of factors that contribute to a positive childbirth experience. The aims of this study were to: (1) identify factors related to a positive childbirth experience; (2) to examine relationships among women’s perceptions and personal evaluations of their childbirth experience, stress associated with labor pain, support from the nursing staff, initial contact with the baby following birth, support from partners, education, age, and obstetric history; and (3) to identify predictors of a positive childbirth experience. Method: A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted using a sample of 122 new mothers recruited over a 3-month period. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires. The three questionnaires used in this study consisted of: (a) the Questionnaire Measuring Attitude About Labor and Delivery Experience (QMAALD 29 items); (b) the Questionnaire Measuring Stress Associated with Labor Pain [SLPS (version 2)]; and (c) Personal Information Questionnaire (Demographic data). The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the 29 item QMAALD in this study was .82 and the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the SLPS (version 2) in this study was .89. The SPSS statistical software version 16.0 for Windows was used for data analysis. Results: Participants reported a low degree of stress associated with labor pain and a moderate amount of support received from the nursing staff. They reported holding and touching their baby immediately after birth. A positive childbirth experience was inversely related to stress associated with labor pain. The reduction of stress due to support received from the nursing staff was found to be positively related to a positive childbirth. Education was related to a positive childbirth experience; but not a significant predictor of a positive childbirth experience. Maternal age, initial contact with the baby following birth, number of labor and delivery experiences, duration of labor, interventions during labor, attendance at prenatal classes, and support from a partner did not relate to a positive childbirth experience. The regression analysis results indicated that the stress associated with labor pain, the reduction of stress due to the support received from the nursing staff, and attendance at prenatal classes were significant predictors of a positive childbirth experience. Conclusion: Stress associated with labor pain and the reduction of stress due to support received from the nursing staff were key factors contributing to a positive childbirth experience. Further research is needed to better understand the factors influencing women’s positive perceptions of the childbirth experience.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009

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