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Journal of Obstrectic Anaesthesia and Critical Care
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-22

Perception of labor pain and utilization of obstetric analgesia by Igbo women of Southeast Nigeria

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ebonyi State University/Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Odidika Ugochukwu J. Umeora
P.O. Box 980, Abakaliki - 480 001, Ebonyi State, Postal Code: 480001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4472.132815

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Context: Pain is subjective and labor pain perception is said to be influenced by personality, culture, parity, educational status and maternal weight. Objectives: This study assessed the Igbo Women's perception of labor pain and evaluated factors influencing their perception of labor pain as well as ascertained the level of utilization of obstetric analgesia by parturients. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that spanned 6 months (January 1, to June 30, 2011) and involved parturients of Igbo extraction who delivered by vaginal route in 3 different referral hospitals. They were interviewed with self-administered questionnaires within the first 24-48 hours postpartum. Labor pains were rated using a 3-pont verbal rating scale (VRS). Data were analysed with MathCAD 7 statistical soft ware package. Results: A total of 530 parturients were interviewed but only 500 were analysed. Fifty-two percent of parturients rated labor pain as severe. While 67.6% of parturients desired labor pain alleviation, only 38% actually requested for analgesia, and only 27% of parturients received pain relief during labor. The commonest pain relief available was intramuscular injection of Pentazocine Hydrochloride (92.6%) The influence of age, parity, educational status, maternal weight and companionship, on pain perception was statistically significant. Conclusion: Though most Igbo women found labor painful, they tend to cope with it. Most Igbo parturients did not request for pain relief and only a fraction of those who did request received it. Adequate antenatal preparation for the birthing process is necessary.

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