Catastrophizing labor pain compromises later maternity adjustments

Sari Goldstein Ferber, Michal Granot, Etan Z. Zimmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of labor pain intensity and labor pain catastrophizing on maternity blues and postpartum social functioning. Study design: Pain intensity and pain catastrophizing were assessed in 89 women in active labor before the administration of analgesia. Both these measures were assessed again retrospectively 2 days after delivery in 82 women who had a spontaneous vaginal delivery. Women also filled out the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Six weeks later women completed the social functioning domain of the short form SF36 health survey. Results: Pain catastrophizing during labor significantly predicted both maternity blues (P =. 001) and postpartum social functioning (P =. 001) when being controlled for maternal age and education, parity, type of analgesia, and labor pain intensity. Low level of education and younger age also contributed to the prediction of maternity blues and social functioning. Conclusion: Labor pain catastrophizing rather than labor pain intensity predicts postpartum maternal adjustments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-831
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Catastrophizing pain
  • Maternity blues
  • Postpartum depression
  • Social function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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