OBSTETRICS BY EAR

Maternal and Caregiver Perceptions of the Meaning of Maternal Sounds During Second Stage Labor

Authors

  • Susan McKay RN, PhD,

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    • Susan McKay, RN, PhD, is a professor of nursing at the University of Wyoming School of Nursing in Laramie, Wyoming. She is also co-investigator of “Supportive versus directive care in second stage labor,” funded by the National Center for Nursing Research.

  • Joyce Roberts CNM, PhD, FAAN

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    • Joyce Roberts, CNM, PhD, FAAN, is a professor of nursing and director of graduate nurse-midwifery at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in Denver, Colorado. She is principal investigator of “Supportive versus directive care in second stage labor.”


University of Wyoming School of Nursing, Box 3065, University Station, Laramie, WY 82071.

ABSTRACT

In a study at the University of Colorado School of Nursing, Department of Nurse-Midwifery, women's second stage labors were videotaped to study caregiver behavior during second stage labor Postpartum interviews of the mothers (n = 10) and caregivers (n = 16) were conducted to learn about their responses as they viewed the videotapes. Qualitative analysis was conducted of the transcribed interviews using the Ethnograph computer software. One of the themes emerging from the data was the significance of maternal sounds. Both caregivers and mothers were able to articulate differences between adaptive and nonadaptive sounds according to their quality, pitch, feeling state, and accompanying verbalizations. Data about women's second stage labor sounds have been categorized according to the following maternal states: work/effort, coping, childlike, out-of-control, and with epidural anesthesia. Typical sounds/verbalization, significance, and facilitative caregiver responses are defined for each category. It is concluded that when a “no noise” rule is evoked during second stage labor, valuable behavioral cues are unavailable to guide caregiver behavior.

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