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ABSTRACT: This study investigated the relationship between antenatal preparation, women's perception of the support they received, and the physical and psychological outcome of birth. Data on preparation, support and women's experience of birth were obtained by questionnaire-based interviews of a random sample of 398 low-risk primiparous women at five Sydney teaching hospitals three weeks after the birth. Medical data concerning labor and delivery were taken from women's hospital records. Most women (81%) attended some form of preparation classes. Number of hours attendance at classes was not related to physical labor variables but women who spent more hours at classes were less likely to use medication during labor and more likely to breastfeed their baby. Similarly, women's perceptions of support from doctor, midwives and partner were not related to physical labor variables but were related to pain relief methods used and to satisfaction ratings.