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One unique aspect of childbirth is the association of this physiologic process with pain and discomfort. However, the experience of pain during labor is not a simple reflection of the physiologic processes of parturition. Instead, labor pain is the result of a complex and subjective interaction of multiple physiologic and psychosocial factors on a woman's individual interpretation of labor stimuli. An understanding of labor pain in a multidimensional framework provides the basis for a woman-centered approach to labor pain management that includes a broad range of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic intervention strategies.