Data on satisfaction with care in labor and birth were gathered in a survey conducted in conjunction with a review of maternity services in Victoria, Australia. All women who gave birth in one week in 1989 (> 1000) were mailed questionnaires eight to nine months after the birth, with a response rate of 790 (71.4%). When adjusted for parity in a logistic regression model, the following factors were highly related to dissatisfaction with intrapartum care: lack of involvement in decision making (p < 0.001), insufficient information (p < 0.001), a higher score for obstetric intervention (p = 0.015), and perception that caregivers were unhelpful (p = 0.04). No association was found between satisfaction and maternal age, marital status, total family income, country of birth, or health insurance status. The survey results were influential in shaping final recommendations of the Ministerial Review of Birthing Services by countering stereotypes about women who become dissatisfied with their care, providing evidence of far greater dissatisfaction with intrapartum than antenatal care, and demonstrating the importance of information, participation in decision making, and relationships with caregivers to women's overall satisfaction with intrapartum care.