Labor Pain:  Partnering Through Understanding



Post Assessment

Name:                                                                                                              Date:                                                                


1.       (True or False)   Labor pain is a normal, physiological process, making it unique from other forms of acute or chronic pain.


2.       List a proposed benefit and proposed adverse effect of labor pain.                                                   
Benefit:__________________________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                           Adverse Effect:                                                                                                                                          ____    

3.       Name a factor that could influence labor pain in each of the following categories:







Use the terms below to fill in the blanks for each of the following:


Dorsal horn



Upright positioning

Action Potential


Gate control


4.            An impulse travels along a nerve in the form of an                                                         .

5.            Nerves that transmit pain signals are called                                                                       .

6.            Pain can be modulated within the                                                                                           before it travels upwards to the brain.

7.            The type of nerve fiber that carries pleasant touch sensations to the spinal cord is                        .

8.            This action is believed to inhibit a pain signal at its source.                                                                         .

9.            The                                                                        theory proposes that pain signals are blocked before traveling to the brain because of competing stimuli within the spinal cord.

10.          These cognitive interventions can minimize pain perception within the brain:                                                                 and                                                       .

11.          A laboring woman’s brain is rich with                                   receptors.


Match the hormone(s) with their effect on labor pain in the following:

(a) Endorphin    (b) Oxytocin    (c) Catecholamines    (d) Estrogen & Progesterone

12.                          Activates pain relieving pathways in the brain and spinal cord

13.                          Increases pain threshold and initiates mothering behavior when released within the


14.                          Can alter a woman’s state of consciousness, increase pain tolerance, and induce feelings

of euphoria and dependency

15.                          Increases in response to fear and anxiety, potentially inhibiting labor and increasing pain

16.               Which of the following factors have been shown to significantly improve women’s satisfaction with their birth experience?

(Circle all that apply)

a.       Involvement in decision making

b.       24-hour anesthesia coverage

c.       Support from caregivers

d.       Minimal pain

e.       Expectations met


17.               Name one source for evidence based information on labor pain and/or other aspects of maternity care:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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