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Al-Shamrani, Tayeb, Almagrabi, and Bukhari: Epidural analgesia during childbirth – women’s viewpoint

Introduction: Women worldwide may experience excruciating pain during childbirth. Epidural analgesia (EA) has been used to relieve pain and has been endorsed as a safe and efficient procedure.

Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of 690 women in Jeddah towards the use EA to cope with childbirth-associated pain.

Materials and methods: A questionnaire was used as a tool for data collection. Data were analysed using the latest version of IBM SPSS Statistics version 22 (IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: Participants were knowledgeable about the use of EA and they thought it should be available in future deliveries and caesarean section (P ≤ 0.01). Those who had prior pregnancies thought that pain was unnecessary and EA should be available. Safety concerns were the reason for not wanting to use EA. Educational status, income, age and carriers of health insurance influenced the decision concerning the use EA. The main source of information, in addition, to their doctors, was family and friends.

Conclusions: Based on the results, there should be more campaigns to educate women about the safety and acceptability of modern techniques to managing pain during labour. This should be done under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and also through television, newspapers, internet and social media. In addition, antenatal classes, conducted by obstetricians and anaesthetists, should be available to educate expecting mothers on how to cope with labour pain.

Acknowledgements: Dr Hanan Al-Shamrani and Professor Steve Harakeh for supervising this project.

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