Journal article

Women’s experiences of labour induction - findings from a Swedish regional study

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Author list: HILDINGSSON I, KARLSTRÖM A, HILDINGSSON I, KARLSTRÖM A, Nystedt A

Publication year: 2011

Start page: 151

End page: 157

Number of pages: 7

ISSN: 0004-8666

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1479-828X.2010.01.262.x

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Abstract

Background: Induction of labour is common in modern obstetrics but its impact on womens birth experiences is inconclusive.

Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore the prevalence of induction in a Swedish region and reasons for labour induction. A second aim was to compare the experience of spontaneous labour and birth for women to the experience of induction of labour. A third aim was to explore the difference in labour in relation to the length of pregnancy.

Methods: A one-year cohort of 936 women was included in a longitudinal Swedish survey in which data were collected by questionnaires, two months after birth. The main outcome was a set of data recording womens birth experiences.

Results: Labour induction was performed in 17% of births and mostly performed for medical reasons. Women who were induced used more epidurals (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.4-3.8) for pain relief and used bath/shower less frequently for pain relief (OR 0.3; 95% CI 0.2-0.5). Labour induction was associated with a less positive birth experience (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.0-2.3), and women who were induced were more likely to totally agree that they were frightened that the baby would be damaged during birth (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.2-3.9), but the assessment of feelings during birth differed with regard to length of pregnancy.

Conclusion: Labour induction affects womens experiences of birth and is related to length of pregnancy.


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