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Can Med Assoc J. 1981 Aug 15;125(4):357-63.

Labour is still painful after prepared childbirth training.


Labour pain was measured with the McGill Pain Questionnaire in 87 primiparas and 54 multiparas. The average intensity of labour pain ranked among the most intense pains recorded with the questionnaire. However, the pain scores had a wide range and were influenced by several medical and social variables. They were significantly higher for the primiparas than for the multiparas. Moreover, high pain levels were associated with a history of menstrual difficulties and lower socioeconomic status. The primiparas who had received prepared childbirth training had lower pain scores than those who had received no such training. Nevertheless, the effects of prepared childbirth training were relatively small, and most patients (81%) who received it requested epidural anesthesia. Because many women who received training suffered severe pain during labour, prepared childbirth training and epidural anesthesia should be regarded as compatible, complementary procedures.

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