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Pregnant Women's Perceptions of Their Nurse's Role During Labor and Delivery

Authors

  • Ann Tumblin BA,

    1. Ann Tumblin is a perinatal educator at WakeMed in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a doula and doula trainer in private practice; Penny Simkin is a physical therapist specializing in childbirth education and labor support, and she is on the faculty of the Seattle Midwifery School, Seattle, Washington.
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  • Penny Simkin PT

    1. Ann Tumblin is a perinatal educator at WakeMed in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a doula and doula trainer in private practice; Penny Simkin is a physical therapist specializing in childbirth education and labor support, and she is on the faculty of the Seattle Midwifery School, Seattle, Washington.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Ann Tumblin, 1007 W. Lady Diana Ct., Apex, NC 27502.

Abstract

Background:Little has been studied about pregnant women's perceptions of their nurse's role during labor and delivery. The objective of this study was to determine nulliparous pregnant women's expectations of their nurse's role during labor and delivery as expressed during the last trimester of pregnancy.Method:Nulliparous women in childbirth classes were asked on a questionnaire, “What do you think your nurse's role will be during labor and delivery? You may list as many things as you wish.”Results:Fifty-seven completed surveys were collected. The women listed a total of 174 items. Approximately 29 percent of the nursing tasks listed by the nulliparous women were related to providing them with physical comfort and emotional support, 24 percent related to providing informational support, almost 21 percent were related to providing technical nursing care, and 21 percent related to monitoring of the baby, mother, or labor progress; approximately 5 percent related to indirect care (outside the room).Conclusion:The expectations of women in our study were in contrast with findings from two previous work sampling studies, in which nurses provided much less time giving women physical comfort, emotional support, and informational support than would have been expected by women in our study. Fulfilling women's expectations about childbirth can increase women's satisfaction with their birth experiences. Further studies can help maternity caregivers learn more about women's expectations.

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