Attitude of Nigerian Mothers to Labour Pain and its Relief
AbstractThe attitude of 110 mothers to labour pains and its relief were assessed 24 hours after normal vaginal deliveries in the post-natal ward of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. The study was carried out with the view of formally introducing pain relief in labour (epidural analgesia in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. The tool for the assessment was an 11-item questionnaire designed to assess the subjective reaction of mothers to labour pain and any previous knowledge/experience with pain relief in labour. Of the 110 mothers, 105(95.5%) were not aware of any method of pain relief in labour. Five (4.5%) mothers had previous experience with pain relief in labour with parental opiods. Of the 110 mothers, 52(47.3%) found labour to be unbearable. Of this number, 44(84.6%) screamed in labour in response to pain while eight (15.4%) did not scream. Fifty-eight (52.7%) mothers claimed that labour pain was bearable. Of this number, 33 (56.9%) also screamed in response to pain while 25 did not scream. When the parturient who screamed were compared with those who did not scream (77 and 33 respectively) the difference was significant, p=0.0015. Fifty-three (47.4%) mothers would not accept any form of pain relief during labour while 58(51,7%) would accept epidural analgesia for subsequent deliveries. With regards to acceptance of epidural analgesia; a total of 57 mothers would accept, while 53 would not. The difference was not significant, p=0.2602. The attitude of Nigeria mothers to labour pain and its relief may be due to ignorance, religion and socio-cultural beliefs. The onus is therefore on Anaesthesiologist to educate Nigerian mothers on the benefit of pain relief in labour.
Mary Slessor Journal of Medicine Vol.3(2) 2003: 12-16