JOGNN: Intrapartum Nurses’ Beliefs Regarding Birth, Birth Practices, and Labor Support



To examine the relationships among intrapartum (IP) nurses’ beliefs regarding birth (physiologic birth/medicalized birth) and their experience, education, and certification; to assess IP nurses’ beliefs about birth practices and labor support; to describe the birth practices of the most effective IP nurses; and to elicit recommendations from IP nurses for quality improvement in IP nursing practice.


Cross-sectional, descriptive study.


Three urban hospitals from one state in the northeastern United States.


One hundred twelve IP registered nurses who were primarily staff nurses.


We collected quantitative and qualitative data using a Web-based survey that included the Intrapartum Nurses’ Beliefs Related to Birth Practice–Modified scale. We used Burgess’s conceptual definition of labor support as the framework to analyze findings.


Participants favored physiologic birth and not medicalized birth, and their beliefs were associated with experience (p = .01) and certification (p = .04). Participants reported that effective IP nurses demonstrate labor practices supportive of physiologic birth. Recommendations from participants for quality improvement in IP nursing practice included ways to optimize physical support, emotional support, informational support, and advocacy for women during labor. Participants made no recommendations related to partner support.


Participants held beliefs that favored physiologic birth and supported many labor practices that can facilitate physiologic birth. However, some labor practices associated with medicalized birth were also supported. Further quality improvement strategies to provide partner support during labor are needed.

Published:August 09, 2021


JOGNN: Intrapartum Nurses’ Beliefs Regarding Birth, Birth Practices, and Labor Support