Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2013


College of Arts and Sciences


Nursing (B.S.N.)

Primary Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nursing; Health Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Health Sciences, Pharmacology


Pain of Childbirth, Obstetrics, Pain Management


Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Nursing | Nursing Midwifery | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


In order to be a competent nurse on an American labor and delivery unit it is important to have an understanding of the pain of childbirth. This includes a thorough understanding of pain as a sensation and its manifestation during the birthing experience. An understanding of pain is useless, however, unless standardized pain assessment practices are used. The most accurate pain assessment is associated with a general understanding of cultural trends in pain perception and expression. Along with culture, other factors also influence how a woman senses and copes with the pain of labor. Anxiety is one of these influential elements and has a profound impact on the childbirth experience, which is why a well-rounded labor and delivery nurse has a diverse database of interventions for the stresses and discomforts of childbirth. This would include many of the increasingly popular alternative pain management methods. However, since pharmacological analgesics are the most frequently requested pain interventions in American labor and delivery units, nurses must thoroughly understand the method of action and potential complications of each of these medications as well.