Being in charge in an encounter with extremes. A survey study on how women experience and work with labour pain in a Nordic home birth setting

Li Thies-Lagergren, Ólöf Ásta Ólafsdóttir, Ingela Sjöblom

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikelPeer review


Problem: There is a knowledge gap regarding women's experiences of coping with labour pain when not soliciting or not having access to pharmacological pain relief. Background: How women manage labour pain is complex, multifaceted and only the woman giving birth can assess the experienced pain. Women in the Nordic countries planning for a homebirth have little or no access to pharmacologic pain relief during labour. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how women experience and work with labour pain when giving birth in their own home. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data was prospectively collected and altogether 1649 women with a planned homebirth answered closed and open-ended questions about labour pain and birth experience. Results: While labour pain was often experienced as positive or very positive, the intensity was experienced as severe or the worst imaginable pain. Two main themes arose from the womens´ descriptions of their birth experience regarding labour pain: An encounter with extremes and Being in charge at home. Discussion: Women perceived labour pain as severe but manageable and were dedicated to completing the birth at home. Being at home enabled the women to exercise autonomy and work with labour pain on their own terms, together with the midwife and support persons. Conclusions: This study provides knowledge about women's experiences of labour pain in a home birth setting who used varying strategies to work with labour pain. This is a subject that should be explored further since results could also apply to facility-based birth settings.

Sidor (från-till)122-127
TidskriftWomen and Birth
Tidigt onlinedatum2020 feb. 10
StatusPublished - 2021

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Reproduktionsmedicin och gynekologi
  • Omvårdnad

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