Postpartum ‘Missing Pieces’: Sequela of a Passing Obstetrical Era?


  • Karen Stolte R.N., C.N.M., Ph.D.

    1. Karen Stolte is a professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing, P.O. Box 26901, Oklahoma City, OK 73190.
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ABSTRACT: Of 70 women interviewed 24 to 74 hours postpartum, six described events during childbirth as confusing and six identified ‘missing pieces’(17% total). The latter six defined missing pieces as external events related to the use of technological equipment and directions from others. Those who said they were confused but experienced no feeling of missing pieces described global events, such as losing track of time. The incidence of confusion and missing pieces was only a fraction of the percentage Affonso reported in 1977 (90%), perhaps because mindaltering medication is used less frequently today than it was in 1977 or because women are better educated about modern management of labor and delivery.