Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 127–142

Predictors of Childbirth Pain and Maternal Satisfaction


  • Dawn Dannenbring
    • DeWitt County Mental Health Center
  • Michael J. Stevens
    • DeWitt County Mental Health Center
  • Alvin E. House
    • Department of PsychologyIllinois State University

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025526610524

Cite this article as:
Dannenbring, D., Stevens, M.J. & House, A.E. J Behav Med (1997) 20: 127. doi:10.1023/A:1025526610524


There is little multivariate, multiphasic research on childbirth pain and satisfaction. We explored the relationship of demographic, medical, psychological, and environmental variables at different times to multiple indices of pain and satisfaction in 70 primiparae and multiparae. Induced labor, desirability of pregnancy, and coach's helpfulness predicted sensory pain. Duration of labor, depression, and outcome expectancy that childbirth education would facilitate medication-free childbirth predicted affective pain. Physician-anticipated complications, induced labor, and motivation to be medication-free predicted pain intensity. Grade level predicted satisfaction. The results also demonstrated differences between primiparae and multiparae in the pattern of variables that explained pain and satisfaction as well as the temporal sensitivity of pain predictors. We discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice.

childbirth painmaternal satisfactionpredictors

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997