Institution: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Healthcare,
Elise van Beeck
Elise van Beeck
Institution: Edinburgh Napier University, School of Health and Social Care,
© attribution CC-BY-ND
Background Pregnant women have preferences about how they intend to manage labour pain. Unmet intentions can result in negative emotions and/or birth experiences. Objective To examine the antenatal level of intention for intrapartum pain relief and the factors that might predict this intention. Design A cross-sectional online survey-based study. Setting and participants 414 healthy pregnant women in the Netherlands, predominantly receiving antenatal care from the community-based midwife who were recruited via maternity healthcare professionals and social media platforms. Methods The attitude towards intrapartum pain relief was measured with the Labour Pain Relief Attitude Questionnaire for pregnant women. Personality traits with the HEXACO-60 questionnaire, general psychological health with the Mental Health Inventory-5 and labour and birth anxiety with the Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale. Multiple linear regression was performed with the intention for pain relief as the dependant variable. Results The obstetrician as birth companion (p<.001), the perception that because of the impact of pregnancy on the woman’s body, using pain relief during labour is self-evident (p<.001), feeling convinced that pain relief contributes to self-confidence during labour (p=.023), and fear of the forthcoming birth (p=.003) predicted women were more likely to use pain relief. The midwife as birth companion (p=.047) and considering the partner in requesting pain relief (p=.045) predicted women were less likely to use pain relief. Conclusion: Understanding the reasons predicting women’s intention of pain management during labour, provides insight in low-risk women’s supportive needs prior to labour and are worth paying attention to during the antenatal period.