Antenatal Preparation and Labor Support in Relation to Birth Outcomes

Authors

  • Adrienne Bennett Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Adrienne Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney. Daphne Hewson is a clinical psychologist and childbirth educator; Erica Booker is past president of C.E.A. (N.S.W.) and a teacher and childbirth educator; Susan Holliday is a psychiatrist in private practice.
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  • Daphne Hewson Ph.D.,

    1. Adrienne Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney. Daphne Hewson is a clinical psychologist and childbirth educator; Erica Booker is past president of C.E.A. (N.S.W.) and a teacher and childbirth educator; Susan Holliday is a psychiatrist in private practice.
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  • Erica Booker D.S.C.M.,

    1. Adrienne Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney. Daphne Hewson is a clinical psychologist and childbirth educator; Erica Booker is past president of C.E.A. (N.S.W.) and a teacher and childbirth educator; Susan Holliday is a psychiatrist in private practice.
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  • Susan Holliday M.B., B.S., M.R.A.N.Z.C.P.

    1. Adrienne Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney. Daphne Hewson is a clinical psychologist and childbirth educator; Erica Booker is past president of C.E.A. (N.S.W.) and a teacher and childbirth educator; Susan Holliday is a psychiatrist in private practice.
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  • The authors are members of the Childbirth Education Association of Australia (NSW) Research Team which received a grant from the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health to carry out this research.

Adrienne Bennett, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Behavioural Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, N.S.W. 2113, Australia.

Abstract

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.

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