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Pain Manag Nurs. 2003 Dec;4(4):145-54.

The pain of childbirth: perceptions of culturally diverse women.

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  • 1Brigham Young University College of Nursing Provo, UT.


The pain experiences of culturally diverse childbearing women are described based on a secondary analysis of narrative data from phenomenologic studies of the meaning of childbirth. Study participants were interviewed in the hospital after giving birth or in their homes within the first weeks after having a baby. Transcripts of interviews with childbearing women who lived in North and Central America, Scandinavia, the Middle East, the People's Republic of China, and Tonga were analyzed. Participants described their attitudes toward, perceptions of, and the meaning of childbirth pain. Culturally bound behavior in response to childbirth pain was also articulated. A variety of coping mechanisms were used by women to deal with the pain. Understanding the meaning of pain, women's perceptions of pain, and culturally bound pain behaviors is fundamental in order for nurses to facilitate satisfying birth experiences for culturally diverse women.

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