Postpartum Perceptions of Touch Received During Labor


  • Karen S. Penny

    Corresponding author
    1. Dr. Karen S. Penny is Associate Professor in the Graduate Program, College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.
    • Requests for reprints may be addressed to Dr. Karen S. Penny, College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma, P.O. Box 26901, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73190
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An exploratory study using interviews of 150 postpartum women was done to determine their perceptions of the touch they received during labor. Data were analyzed for the subjects' overall perceptions of being touched during labor and for their positive and negative touch experiences. Significant differences in age, race, and marital status were found between subjects who perceived touch as negative and those who perceived touch as positive. Significant differences were also found between descriptions of positive and negative touch experiences with regard to who touched the subject, what part of the body was touched, and the effect of touch on the subject in coping with labor. Implications for nursing care are discussed.