What is most important to making sure I have a satisfying childbirth experience?

A systematic review of the best available researchHodnett, E.D. (2002). Pain and women's satisfaction with the experience of childbirth: a systematic review. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 186(5), S160-72. finds that the following four factors make the greatest contribution to women's satisfaction in childbirth:

  • Having good support from care providers.
  • Having a high-quality relationship with care providers.
  • Being involved in decision-making about care.
  • Having better-than-expected experiences (or having high expectations).

Choosing a birth setting with care providers that can provide this type of care can make a big difference in your satisfaction!