Do Primiparas and Multiparas Have Realistic Expectats of Labor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Expectations of labor and childbirth can affect the degree of in‐labor pain or discomfort experienced by the mother. By ascertaining whether expectations of labor experience are realistic or not, women can be prepared during the antenatal period to cope better with labor pain. The purposes of this prospective study were to 1) determine if pregnant women had realistic expectations of the labor experience, 2) determine if women who expected to have more pain during labor actually experienced more pain, than those not expecting to experience so much pain, and 3) determine if attending midwives assessed in‐labor pain as intense as the mothers did. Fifty primiparas, 88 multiparas, and 12 full‐time employed mid‐wives participated in the study. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to rate the expected and actual in‐labor experience. A 3‐point rating scale was used by the midwives to rate in‐labor pain. Neither primiparas nor multiparas were found to have realistic expectations of the labor experience. Mothers experienced more pain and discomfort than expected, and the multiparas anticipated their need for medication to be greater than what was actually needed. The mothers reported that they felt less lonely and received more support from personnel during labor than they had expected. Multiparas who expected to experience more pain reported more pain than those expecting to experience less pain in stages I and III of labor. There was no significant correlation between midwives' and mothers' rating of the intensity of in‐labor pain during stage III of labor. 1990 Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Do Primiparas and Multiparas Have Realistic Expectats of Labor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this