1. Jonsdottir, Sigridur Sia

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Nystedt, A., Hogberg, U., & Lundman, B. (2006). Midwifery, 22, 56-65.


A nurse or midwife working with a woman in labor knows the feeling when the laboring process starts to slow down. It is at these times that support, caring, and encouragement given by the caregiver are most important. This study was based on qualitative interviews with 10 Swedish primiparous women who were experiencing prolonged labor and finally had either vacuum extractions (7) or cesarean births (3). The interviews were conducted 1 to 3 months after delivery. The women described their experiences as being caught up in pain and fear while being out of control and being dependent on others. The pain was unbearable, and pain relief methods were either of no use or just a temporary relief, like epidural analgesia. Fear of dying was among the experiences, as was fear of no relief or fear for the baby's condition. The women felt that they lost the ability to participate in decisions regarding their care and felt they had no influence over the circumstances. The women accepted being dependent on the caregivers to make decisions and save them.


Verbal and nonverbal expressions of dissatisfaction by nurses or midwives with the slow progress of labor made it more difficult for the women to deal with the situation. The women also felt that they had little or no information from the caregivers, which left them with negative feelings about the experience. This is an important finding for all of us who care for women during labor and delivery. Although the authors pointed out that a comparison study with women who have prolonged labor ending in spontaneous delivery would be of value, they believed that the study's findings are transferable to women from other countries, because giving birth is a universal experience.


Sigridur Sia Jonsdottir

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