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Predictors of a negative labour and birth experience based on a national survey of Canadian women

TitlePredictors of a negative labour and birth experience based on a national survey of Canadian women
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSmarandache, A., Kim T. H. M., Bohr Y., and Tamim H.
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Pages1 - 9
Date PublishedMay
Keywordsbirth, canada, labour, maternity experiences survey

Background A negative birth experience has been shown to have a significant impact on the well-being and future choices of mothers. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of, and identify the risk factors associated with a negative birth experience for women in Canada. Methods The study was based on secondary data analysis of the Maternity Experiences Survey (MES), a Canadian population database administered to 6,421 Canadian women in 2006. The examined outcome - negative birth experience - was derived from mothers' self-report of overall labour and birth experience. Independent variables were maternal demographics, health characteristics, pregnancy-related characteristics, and birth characteristics. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the significant predictors of negative birth experience. Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) and 95 % Confidence Intervals (CI) are reported. Results Negative birth experience was reported among 9.3 % of women. The main significant predictors of a negative birth experience included older age (AOR 2.29, 95 % CI, 1.03-5.07), violence experienced in the past two years (AOR, 1.62, 95 % CI, 1.21-2.18), poor self-perceived health (adjusted OR, 1.95, 95 % CI, 1.36-2.80), prenatal classes attended (adjusted OR, 1.36, 95 % CI, 1.06-1.76), unintended pregnancy (adjusted OR, 1.30, 95 % CI, 1.03-1.63), caesarean birth (AOR, 1.65, 95 % CI, 1.32-2.06), and neonate admission to intensive care (AOR, 1.40, 95 % CI, 1.08-1.82). Conclusion Significant predictors of a negative labour and birth experience were identified through this study, a first in the Canadian context. These findings suggest future research directions and provide a basis for the design and evaluation of maternal health policy and prevention programs.

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