Childbirth satisfaction and perceptions of control: Postnatal psychological implications
2020 MA Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved. Background Satisfaction with childbirth is associated with a number of factors prior to and during birth, including perceived control during labour, and has implications for postnatal psychological health. Methods A total of 38 pregnant women recruited prior to 20-weeks gestation completed questionnaires regarding perceptions of control during, and satisfaction with, childbirth, mental health and maternal attachment at two-months postpartum. Birth details and breastfeeding difficulties were obtained from hospital records. Results Satisfaction with childbirth was associated with perceived control and a physiological birth, and perceived control was associated with a physiological birth and midwife-led continuity of care. At two-months postpartum, satisfaction with childbirth was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, while perceived control was associated with fewer anxiety symptoms. Discussion It is important for healthcare providers to implement practices that support birthing satisfaction, such as provision of midwife-led continuity of care. Healthcare provision should also provide psychological support to mothers whose birthing experience was unsatisfactory and tailor additional support during early breastfeeding for these women.