The Interrelationship Between Women's Involvement In Decision Making In Labor And Their Perception Of The Labor Experience Labor is one of the most significant events in women's lives. The process and outcome of labor may have long term effects on the way women perceive the parenting role and their personal, emotional and physical capability. Each woman arrives to labor with a planned construct of beliefs, expectations and fantasies regarding the labor process and outcomes, which are driven from different cultural values and personal beliefs. The clinical reality does not always correlate with this emotional construct and with a woman's anticipated level of involvement in decision making at labor. Discrepancy between women's desired or expected labor processes and what happens in actuality may have a substantial impact on women's lives and on the way they will experience future births. The main goal of this research is to investigate the effects of labor process on women by examining the question whether women's involvement in decision making during labor has an effect on their perceived labor process.
The perceived labor process is a combination of a woman's level of engagement in decision making at labor, her perceived level of control in the labor process and the level of satisfaction from the obstetric caregivers (gynecologists and midwives). The participants of this research project shall be comprised of 100 women who were hospitalized during the two days immediately following labor and delivery in the maternity unit at Hillel Yaffe hospital, who gave birth in a normal delivery, at term (37 weeks of gestation) with no surgical or instrumental intervention and had no complications either to them or their babies. The participants will be given a self-replying questionnaire constructed especially for the purposes of this research project. The questionnaire is comprised of seven parts: (1) social-demographic information,(2) health background,(3) obstetric background,(4) the woman's perspective of labor process in general,(5) the woman's perspective of the progression of her actual labor,(6) the woman's evaluation of the attitude of obstetric caregivers (gynecologists and midwives) and (7) the level of control the woman had in decision making during labor and her perception of the labor experience. The research findings will be analyzed statistically using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) format. In addition to understanding the way women perceive their labor and delivery in terms of the level of involvement in decision making, these findings may also contribute to develop a therapeutic intervention tool to assist accommodating specific treatment to women in labor and childbirth according to the level of her desired involvement in decision making at birth, her viewpoint of therapeutic intervention and her expectations of the labor process.