Exploring women‘s views of labour pain: a collaborative research approach

About the project

Labour pain has largely been defined in midwifery or medical terms, and most research to date has been about its relief. However, recent research has found that women describe a complex relationship with labour pain that includes positive and welcoming views. Pain relief is an important option, but has attendant side-effects that affect labour. The relief of pain does not necessarily increase women’s satisfaction with birth, yet feeling the pain of labour has been described as joyous, powerful and transformational. We aim to explore women’s views of labour pain in a collaborative research approach, based in the concepts of salutogenesis and humanisation of birth, which includes women as co-designers of the subsequent research phase. Using focus groups, we want to discover women’s thoughts, experiences and ideas for further questions and share knowledge about positive aspects of birth pain.


Sigfridur Inga Karlsdottir, Associate Professor, University of Akureyri, Iceland
Elizabeth Newnham, Ussher Assistant Professor in Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Cecily Begley, Professor in Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


Trinity College Dublin, Ireland