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Thesis

Decision-Making About Childbirth

27 July 2007

Abstract

The cesarean rate has been rising in the United States. Approximately 30% of women who give birth do so via cesarean section. Control, participation, and interactions with the physician during labor and delivery all play a role in what occurs during the childbirth process. This study consisted of surveying 122 women about their childbirth experience including perception of control, participation, physician interaction, and decision-making. It was found that women who gave birth vaginally consistently reported experiencing more control during the childbirth process than women who had a cesarean. The perception of the physician's preference for labor versus cesarean section was also found to be significantly different between these two groups. Other hypotheses regarding participation and control, information seeking and decision making were not supported in this study. Implications for future research are discussed.


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