Summary. Women's ratings of their experience of childbirth were compared with midwives' ratings of the women's experience. The midwives' ratings were significantly different from those of their patients. Mid-wives presented a more positive picture of the woman's experience than did the woman herself. Furthermore, the women reported using psycho-prophylactic techniques for controlling discomfort for significantly more of the time than the midwives reported that the women used such techniques. The results are discussed in the context of similar findings reported in the literature.