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Free Content Characteristics of a Positive Experience for Women Who Have Unmedicated Childbirth

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This qualitative descriptive study determined characteristics that women deem positive in their unmedicated childbirth experience. Seventeen women were interviewed and themes were identified. All of the women reported satisfying births, adding accompanying feelings of empowerment and well-being. An overriding theme in each woman's birth story that made the birth experience positive was the ability to control her body during labor and the ability to influence the environment in which she labored and gave birth. Being able to move and change positions freely were both key factors in determining a positive birth experience. Additionally, the women expressed comfort from the presence of a spouse or trusted individual. They found the help of an experienced woman or doula important. Many were willing to change care providers to gain support for their desire for an unmedicated birth.

Keywords: birth experience; labor support; unmedicated childbirth

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Amanda Hardin is a BSN honors graduate from the University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham. The study reported here was completed as her senior honors project. 2: Ellen Buckner is an associate professor of nursing at the University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the coordinator of the school's “Honors in Nursing” program.

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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