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N Z Med J. 1983 Jan 26;96(724):51-3.

Antenatal education: does it improve the quality of labour and delivery?


Of 196 nulliparous women who delivered in a two month period, 78 percent had attended antenatal education classes. The mothers who did not attend antenatal classes consisted of significantly more Maori and Pacific Island mothers, they were younger, smoked more, had a lower socioeconomic status and fewer were married. The group who went to antenatal education classes had a significantly longer second stage in labour and required more forceps assistance during delivery compared to non-attenders. These results remained for the polynesian mothers, when they were analysed separately and the differences in age and socioeconomic status were no longer present. There was no difference in the type of pain relief required during childbirth by the attenders or non-attenders. We found no evidence that attending antenatal education classes will ensure an easy and less complicated childbirth.

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