Do Childbirth Classes Influence Decision Making about Labor and Postpartum Issues?

Bronny Handfield, Robin Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: This study investigated the role of childbirth education for women attending the Royal Women's Hospital Family Birth Center, Melbourne, Australia, in relation to making decisions about breastfeeding, pain medication, and length of hospital stay. Fifty‐nine primiparous women completed a questionnaire after delivery about the influence of childbirth education classes on their decisions during pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period. The results indicated that although the women enjoyed childbirth education classes, the information they received had minimal effect on their decision to breastfeed and the appropriateness of a 24‐hour stay. Information gained about the use of pain medication in labor was clearly helpful when women made decisions about pain relief. Educational strategies have failed to address the tendency of nulliparous women to postpone making decisions about the postnatal period such as early discharge, and further investigation on this aspect of a childbirth education program is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalBirth: Issues in Perinatal Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995

Cite this