A prospective study of women's views of factors contributing to a positive birth experience

Midwifery. 1999 Mar;15(1):40-6. doi: 10.1016/s0266-6138(99)90036-0.


Objective: To explore the aspects of a woman's childbirth experience which she perceived as being important.

Design: As part of a large randomised trial, which assessed the timing of intervention in prolonged labour, women's views were explored using a specifically-designed questionnaire. The questionnaire, which was administered on the second postnatal day, incorporated a rating scale followed by an open question. The responses to the open question are presented in this paper.

Setting: Regional teaching hospital in the north west of England.

Sample: 615 primigravid women received a copy of the questionnaire. Of the 519 women who returned the questionnaire, 412 women answered the relevant section, the findings of which are presented in this paper.

Analysis: The responses to the open-ended question were analysed by the generation of themes from the most frequently occurring responses.

Main findings: The main themes which emerged were support, information, intervention, decision making, control, pain relief and trial participation.

Key conclusions and implications for practice: Most women are able to identify important contributors to a positive intrapartum experience. Midwives have an important role in identifying these contributors and supporting women to fulfil their individual needs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dystocia / nursing*
  • Dystocia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Job Description
  • Nurse Midwives / standards*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Parity
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors