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Ann Acad Med Stetin, 2006; 52, 1, 79-90

DOROTA ĆWIEK

 

THE IMPACT OF EDUCATION IN BIRTHING SCHOOLS ON THE COURSE OF PREGNANCY, LABOR, PUERPERIUM, AND NEONATAL CARE

Samodzielna Pracownia Propedeutyki Nauk Pielęgniarskich Pomorskiej Akademii Medycznej

ul. Żołnierska 48/8, 71-210 Szczecin

Kierownik: dr n. med. Elżbieta Grochans

 

Summary

Introduction: Pregnancy represents a special period in the life of a woman. It is the time of many joyous, sublime, and touching moments experienced by the family although not free from anxiety, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of the future parents. It is also the time of an intense quest for answers to annoying questions and a motivating factor to search for information on the physiology of pregnancy, as well as on labor, puerperium and child care. A birthing school is nowadays the most important institution which prepares for parenting in a most professional way. This form of education is gaining widespread acceptance.

This study was designed to: 1. Study the effects of participation in birthing school classes on the course of pregnancy, labor, and puerperium. 2. Search for relationships between the birthing school program and motivation of mothers to breast feeding. 3. Determine the influence of education in a birthing school on the ability of mothers to cope with problems during puerperium.

Material and methods: The study was done in 294 women hospitalized at the Obstetrics Ward of the Chair and Department of Obstetrics and Perinatology, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, between June 2001 and December 2002. Two groups were formed: group I – “study group” – comprised 129 gravida who participated in birthing school classes during at least one pregnancy but not earlier than two years before the present study; group II – “control group” – included 165 gravida who never participated in any organized form of birthing education. A questionnaire was developed consisting of 105 questions. Answers were recorded by the researcher and the results in both groups were compared statistically.

Conclusions: Participation in birthing school classes helps develop healthy attitudes during pregnancy, reduced the feeling of pain and blood loss during labor, but does not alter the duration of labor in primipara nor has any effect on problems related to puerperium. Graduates of birthing schools are better motivated to start breast feeding, less often switch to artificial feeding during puerperium, and cope better with problems encountered during puerperium.

K e y w o r d s: birthschool – education.

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