Maternal confidence for physiologic birth: Associated prenatal characteristics and outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: Pregnancy, labor, and birth are normal, physiologic processes. Women often seek information during pregnancy to enhance their confidence for physiologic birth. Little is known about confidence for physiologic birth and associated prenatal characteristics and birth outcomes such as provider type, source of labor and birth information, mode of birth, and use of pain medication in labor. The purpose of this study was to examine prenatal confidence for physiologic birth and associated prenatal characteristics and birth outcomes. Design: This study was completed as part of a multi-phased instrument development study, the Preparation for Labor and Birth (P-LAB) instrument. P-LAB confidence scores were examined for their relationship with variables including labor type, provider type, source of labor support, pain medication use, and birth mode. Setting and Participants: Women (N = 192) from five prenatal clinics in the Midwestern United States who had completed the P-LAB instrument participated in postpartum telephone interviews. Findings: Women with previous birth experience had higher confidence than nulliparous women. Prenatal care providers were reported as main source of labor and birth information. Confidence for birth was associated with intention to not use pain medication in labor. Women's overall intention to use or not use pain medication was consistent with use. Prenatal confidence was not associated with mode of birth. Implications for Future Research: Special emphasis should be paid to nulliparous women when developing interventions to enhance confidence for physiologic birth. Women rely on their care providers for information regarding labor and birth, therefore one area to strengthen confidence for physiologic birth is within the provider-patient relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-116
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the March of Dimes Foundation Margaret C. Freda Award, the American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Education, and Jonas Philanthropies. A special thank you to the women and providers who participated in this study. We are also grateful to Olga Gurvich, Senior Research Fellow, who lent statistical expertise.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Childbirth outcomes
  • Maternal confidence
  • Midwifery
  • Physiologic childbirth


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