Ms. Birch received her BSN from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979, and her MS in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Minnesota in 1984. After an internship at Los Angeles County Hospital, she was employed as a nurse-midwife at Ramsey County Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has most recently been employed as the Parent-Child Education Coordinator at Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
THE EXPERIENCE OF TOUCH RECEIVED DURING LABOR: Postpartum Perceptions of Therapeutic Value*
Article first published online: 6 JAN 2011
1986 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Nurse-Midwifery
Volume 31, Issue 6, pages 270–275, November-December 1986
How to Cite
Birch, E. R. (1986), THE EXPERIENCE OF TOUCH RECEIVED DURING LABOR: Postpartum Perceptions of Therapeutic Value. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 31: 270–275. doi: 10.1016/0091-2182(86)90036-4
Adapted from the author's Master's thesis, 1984.
- Issue published online: 6 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 6 JAN 2011
This descriptive study examines the perceptions of women regarding the therapeutic value of touch received during labor. Thirty women who had a normal spontaneous vaginal birth attended by a nurse-midwife were interviewed during the immediate post-partal period. This study showed that various aspects of touch can be therapeutic during labor. Touch was perceived most frequently as therapeutic during the transition phase of labor—a finding that disputes current conceptual literature. Therapeutic touch meant sympathy, participation, and encouragement, and was perceived as able to reduce pain. Hand holding was the type of touch most consistent in therapeutic value throughout labor. The findings of this study showed that received touch was helpful to the woman in labor because it helped her cope with the experience.