Making it a happier childbirth

Mothers who have a vaginal birth without epidural anaesthesia and who are accompanied by a family member during the birth are happier with the experience of childbirth than other women. Likewise, the attitude of healthcare personnel and starting early breastfeeding are another two factors that help in increasing a mother’s level of satisfaction.

These results are revealed in an article published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria. The aim of the research was to identify a mother’s level of satisfaction regarding attention given to her birth, who was there during the birth and the duration of breastfeeding.

For the research, scientists studied 60 mothers out of a sample of 2,800 women who gave birth at the San Cecilio University Hospital between August 2011 and August 2012. The mothers were monitored 24 hours after having given birth (still in hospital) and then 14 days later, by phone. After three months, the baby’s feeding regime was recorded.

The results showed that, generally, the overall satisfaction level of the population studied about birth was high. The scientists discovered that early breastfeeding (that is, during the first 24 hours after birth) and a eutocic delivery without epidural anaesthesia are two parameters that have a very positive effect on the mothers’ level of satisfaction.

The principal author of this study is Maria Jose Aguilar Codero, Professor of Nursing at the University of Granada. She explains some benefits of ensuring that the mother is happy with the childbirth: “The mother being happy or not during birth is related to the duration of breastfeeding. There is a greater percentage of mothers who are still breastfeeding after three months if they have been happy with the birth, compared to other mothers who were less satisfied with their delivery.”

Aguilar Cordero also points out that identifying the mother’s level of satisfaction during birth can help clinicians increase the level of assistance, continually improving on identified weaknesses and maintaining the strengths. Furthermore, she adds that women that are more satisfied with their delivery and breastfeeding are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression.

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