Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Mary Ann Stark

Second Advisor

Kim Searing

Third Advisor

Wendey Kershner


The pain of labor is well understood, yet, very difficult to treat. This is secondary to the fact that each woman’s perception of pain varies as it is influenced by many different factors. According to Lowedermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden, (2012) how the woman perceives pain is “influenced by a variety of physiologic, psychological, emotion, social, cultural and environmental factors” (p. 387). A nurses’ role is to act as a patient advocate and with that entails maintaining the patient’s comfort throughout the labor process. In order to do so, a nurse must be able to assess the patient from not only the physiological standpoint, but also the emotional, social, and cultural standpoint in order to provide the optimal comfort for the patient. Once the pain level has been assessed, then comfort can be provided as tailored to the patient’s needs.

Comfort can be divided into two different aspects: physiologic comfort and psychological comfort. Physiological comfort can be maintained by the use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods. Most women who are close to labor are aware of the pharmacological comfort measures such as an epidural, however, they lack knowledge in the non-pharmacologic methods. Non-pharmacological methods include, but are not limited to, hydrotherapy, massage and relaxation, music therapy, ambulation and position change, yoga, acupuncture and acupressure (Lowdermilk et al., 2012). These methods do not have the side effects and risks of pharmacologic methods. They also can be used to supplement the effectiveness of pharmacologic methods. Therefore, women should be encouraged to utilize these non-pharmacologic comfort measures during labor.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Presentation.pdf (428 kB)
Defense Presentation