Sociodemographic differences in women’s experience of early labour care

Early labour is usually a slow process during which women, especially if it is their first baby, may feel distress and anxiety, and lose confidence in their ability to cope.

NPEU researchers Maggie Redshaw and Jane Henderson have published the findings of a mixed methods study exploring how women from different backgrounds and cultures differed in their experience of early labour care, using survey data collected in 2014.

They found that women from Black and minority ethnic groups reported greater worry about early labour, but most women who contacted the hospital at the start of labour perceived the advice received as helpful. Many women reported that not being allowed to come into hospital or to stay in hospital if they were not thought to be in active labour was very distressing.

You can read more about the findings of this study in the BMJ Open.