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Keywords:

  • first-time mother;
  • childbirth experience;
  • caring of midwife;
  • social support

The aim of this study was to examine factors related to how the first-time mother experiences childbirth. The data were collected by questionnaire in a sample of 326 first-time mothers in Tampere University hospital in Finland. The multivariate method used was a stepwise regression analysis. The most important predictors for the nature of the childbirth experience were the characteristics of the midwife, such as empathy, friendliness, tenderness, calmness and lack of hurry; the attitude of the child's father toward the pregnancy; the duration of delivery; and the mother's age and marital status. The more positive the experience the mother had of the attending midwife caring for her, the more positively she experienced childbirth. The positive attitude of the child's father toward the pregnancy and a short duration of delivery were also predictors for a positive childbirth experience. Young and unmarried mothers also had more positive experiences of childbirth. On the basis of the research results, we can state that positive childbirth experiences of first-time mothers are enhanced by the positive characteristics and professional skills of the attending midwife, positive attitude of the spouse/child's father toward the pregnancy, and a short duration of delivery.