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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1984 Jul;91(7):624-8.

The consumers' attitude to obstetric care.


Questionnaires were sent to 1000 mothers, 1 year after childbirth, to elicit opinions about various aspects of obstetric care in labour and effects on child bonding. Questionnaires were returned by 632 women. Some attitudes were in broad agreement with the views of natural childbirth groups but more were in agreement with the established medical view. The majority of women did not consider that medical care was excessive and 63% found fetal monitoring reassuring. Questions on mother and child bonding showed that only few mothers (19%) though that this was influenced by events during labour and delivery. Having pain in labour was seen as an essential part of the emotional experience of childbirth by 45% of the respondents. This attitude and others were correlated with certain psychological traits, marital status and race. Before changes are made in obstetric practices in response to 'consumer' pressure, the opinions of recently delivered mothers ought to be taken into account.

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