Labor Concerns of Women Two Months After Delivery


  • Eileen R. Fowles PhD, RNC,

  • Eileen Fowles is an Assistant Professor in Maternal-Child Nursing at Southern Illinois University, School of Nursing, Edwardsville, Illinois.

Eileen R. Fowles, PhD, RNC Southern Illinois University, School of Nursing, Box 1066, Edwardsville, IL 62026.


Background:Women strive to incorporate their labor and delivery experiences into their self-system as they form an identity as a mother. As part of a larger study examining the development of maternal identity, women were asked to respond to a single open-ended question—“Is there anything about your labor and delivery that is still bothering you?”—to determine if women experienced any discrepancies between the expectations and realities of their births.Methods:A descriptive, qualitative design was applied to examine responses to an open-ended question from a convenience sample of 77 women from three geographically diverse Midwest hospitals who were nine weeks postpartum. Responses were subjected to content analysis to identify major categories of concerns related to labor and delivery.Results:Women expressed positive responses, which related to who helped them in labor and to the context of the experience, and frustrations, which related to pain, negative reactions to health caregivers, lack of control, and lack of knowledge.Conclusions:These findings offer direction to health care professionals for making labor and childbirth a positive experience, thus easing the transition to motherhood. (BIRTH 25:4 December 1998)