Stress, Pain, and Catecholamines in Labor: Part 2. Stress Associated with Childbirth Events: A Pilot Survey of New Mothers

Authors

  • Penny Simkin P. T.

    Corresponding author
    1. Penny Simkin, BA, PT, is a childbirth educator. She is President of Pennypress publishers and a consultant to Seattle Midwifery School and the International Childbirth Education Association. She is co-author of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, co-editor of Episiotomy and the Second Stage of Labor, and on the editorial staff of Birth.
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Address inquiries to Ms. Simkin at 1100 23rd. Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: A convenience sample of 159 women, all between 10 days and 2 months postpartum, filled out the Childbirth Events Stress Survey. All had attended the childbirth classes of the author during 1982 through mid-1985. Only those who had had vaginal births in the hospital were included in the results. Those labor events most frequently described as highly stressful were: induction or augmentation with pitocin; administration of anesthesia; restriction to bed; restriction of movement in bed; forceps and vacuum extractor delivery; limited time with the baby; and circumcision. Because excessive stress is detrimental to labor progress and fetal and neonatal well-being, alternatives to these stressful policies and procedures are suggested. Many stressful events are done without indication and may thus be eliminated.

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