, Volume 19, Issue 11, pp 1527-1531

Preferences and concerns for delivery: an antepartum survey

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Abstract

Little is known regarding patient preferences for method of delivery despite concern about rising cesarean section rates. We hypothesize that the majority of pregnant women desire a vaginal birth. An anonymous survey was distributed to pregnant women assessing demographics, pregnancy history, delivery preference, and concern for outcomes. Five-hundred fifty respondents completed the survey; 43% were nulliparous. The majority preferred vaginal delivery (89.6%). Reasons included reduced recovery pain (72%), scars (68%), and bleeding (48%). Cesarean deliveries were believed to cause more maternal injuries (39%), but affect sexual function less (35%). Nulliparas were more concerned about vaginal support damage (p = .005), sexual function changes (p ≤ 0.001), and need for episiotomy (p ≤ .001). Despite this, 93% of nulliparas chose vaginal birth. Increased parity was associated with preference for cesarean delivery (r = 0.108, p = 0.013). Despite nulliparas’ concerns about complications of vaginal delivery, the majority of pregnant women would choose vaginal birth.