How do I overcome my fear of childbirth?

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SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 25 showing 20 studies at a time
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21
Fear of childbirth: Understanding the causes, impact and treatment
"This article is based on a review of the literature related to fear of childbirth, and pragmatically considers issues for midwifery practice. Research shows that around one in ten women in the developed world is affected by severe and disabling fear of childbirth during pregnancy (Saisto and Halmesmaki, 2003). An important finding in the research is the significant link between fear of childbirth and caesarean section (for which the UK currently has very high rates). Fear is also associated with a negative birth experience. While personality and social factors are shown to raise the risk of severe fear of childbirth, midwives need to recognize that loss of control, misinformation and previous traumatic experiences have a serious detrimental effect on women's perceived capacity to give birth vaginally."
AUTHOR
Henrietta Otley
PUBLISHED
2011 in British Journal of Midwifery
Q3
Literature Review
22
AUTHOR
Pinar Sercekus
PUBLISHED
2011 in TAF Preventive Medicine Bulletin
Q4
23
O668 The effect of childbirth preparation classes on fear of childbirth and severity of labor pain in pregnant women reoffered to Akbarabady hospital of Tehran, 2008
"Background: Childbirth is one of the greatest events in every woman's life. Despite, their fantasies about pregnancy and motherhood, when they confronted with the reality, many of them doubt their ability to cope with this great event in their lives. Influenced by family, friends and relatives, they get prepared in different ways as they approach the experience of childbirth. This preparation may be positive or negative, realistic or inaccurate. At this time, the mother needs lot of help for the realization and acceptance of childbirth as a normal physiological phenomenon. She needs to accept a healthy attitude towards pregnancy so that she might have a safe and emotionally satisfying experience of labor. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of childbirth preparation classes on fear of childbirth and labor pain intensity in pregnant women visited to Akbarabady hospital of Tehran, 2008. Methods: It was a program evaluation that performed in quasiexperimental approach. Questionnaire was used for data collection was Areskogs the fear of childbirth questionnaire that we added demographic characteristics and a standard pain number rating scale. Sample: 120 prim gravid pregnant women, aged 18-30 between 20-24 wells gestation, without any infertility, abortion and abnormal fetus history that referred to Akbarbady Hospital for delivery. Setting: Akbarabady hospital of Tehran. Result: There was statistical significant deference between means of fear of childbirth score of pregnant women that participated in preparation classes, before of education and after that (p = 0.000). But there wasn't statistical difference between means of fear of childbirth score of pregnant women that didn't participate in preparation classes, at 20-24th weeks gestation and 37th week (p = 0.438). It wan statistical significant deference between means of difference of fear of scores of two groups (p = 0.000). Difference in severity of labor pain between two groups were statistically significant (p = 0.000). Discussion and Conclusion: According to the study findings it seems that childbirth preparation class can be an effective way to decrease fear of childbirth, attendance in such classes could be a pleasant for the mother and probably an effective step in decreasing the number of selective caesarian section, witch are performed mainly because of fear of labor pain."
AUTHORS
F. Hossaini
A. Malekzadegan
B. Mohammadi Zeidi
M. Nazari Jeyrani
PUBLISHED
2009 in International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Q2
24
AUTHORS
Teija Könönen
Jari-Erik Nurmi
Terhi Saisto
Erja Halmesmäki
Katariina Salmela-Aro
PUBLISHED
2001 in Obstetrics & Gynecology
High quality source
25
AUTHOR
Berit Sjögren
PUBLISHED
1998 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
High quality source







ADDITIONAL STUDIES TO CONSIDER ADDING TO LIST
Total additional studies: 26
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I Study What I Stink At: Lessons Learned from a Career in Psychology
"I describe what I have learned from a rather long career in psychology. My goal is to aid those younger than I to learn from my experience and avoid my mistakes. I discuss topics such as the damage that self-fulfilling prophecies can do, the importance of resilience, the need to overcome fear of failure, the importance of being flexible in one's goals and changing them as needed, the relevance of professional ethics, and the need to be wise and not just smart. In the end, we and our work are forgotten very quickly and one should realize that, after retirement, it likely will be one's family, not one's professional network, that provides one's main source of support and comfort. "
AUTHOR
Robert J. Sternberg
PUBLISHED

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I Study What I Stink At: Lessons Learned from a Career in Psychology
"I describe what I have learned from a rather long career in psychology. My goal is to aid those younger than I to learn from my experience and avoid my mistakes. I discuss topics such as the damage that self-fulfilling prophecies can do, the importance of resilience, the need to overcome fear of failure, the importance of being flexible in one's goals and changing them as needed, the relevance of professional ethics, and the need to be wise and not just smart. In the end, we and our work are forgotten very quickly and one should realize that, after retirement, it likely will be one's family, not one's professional network, that provides one's main source of support and comfort."
AUTHOR
L. Rowell Huesmann Laramie D. Taylor
PUBLISHED
2014 in Annual Review of Psychology

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“We Wanted a Birth Experience, not a Medical Experience”: Exploring Canadian Women's Use of Midwifery
"In this study I explore Canadian women's use of midwifery to examine whether their choice represents a resistance to the medicalization of pregnancy/childbirth. Through my analysis of the data I identified eight ways the women's deliberate decision to pursue midwifery care represented resistance to medicalization. In so doing, I demonstrate how women actively assert their agency over reproduction thus shaping their own reproductive health experiences. The outcome of their resistance and resultant use of midwifery was empowerment. Theoretically the research contributes to understanding the intentionality of resistance and a continuum of resistant behavior."
AUTHOR
Diana Parry
PUBLISHED
2008 in Health Care for Women International

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Women's experiences of intense fear related to childbirth investigated in a Swedish qualitative study
"Objectives: To investigate and describe how intense fear related to childbirth is experienced, dealt with and communicated from the perspective of the women themselves.

Design: Qualitative interviews analysed by a grounded theory approach.

Setting: The study was conducted in a mid-sized city in the northern part of Sweden.

Participants: A purposeful sample of 20 women, aged 24-41 with experiences of intense fear related to childbirth.

Findings: The experience of fear was described in relation to 'manifestations', 'time and fluctuation' and 'judgements according to perceptions of self and others'. Ways of dealing with the fears could be divided into the approaches of 'evading', 'processing' and 'seeking help'. These were often used in parallel and as exchangeable depending on which approach seemed to be most effective to a particular situation. Although some informants indicated that talking through their fears had helped them, all women underlined that talking about the fear was not an easy thing to do. 'Preconditions' for being able to disclose their fears often concerned the interest and behaviour of antenatal health-care professionals, and an understanding midwife was described as crucial.

Key Conclusions And Implications For Practice: The findings suggest that antenatal health-care professionals need further training in how to meet and support women with intense fear related to childbirth. Such training should include how to uncover and counter socially constructed norms and expectations about what pregnant women should feel in relation to childbirth.

"
AUTHORS
Katarina Hamberg
Lilian Jansson
Carola Eriksson
PUBLISHED
2006 in Midwifery

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Doctors, pregnancy, childbirth and abortion during the Third Reich.
"This paper does not attempt to deal with the legitimate ethical or moral debate on abortion. Utilizing abortion as a subject I will show how science and medicine in general, and abortion in particular, were used as weapons of mass destruction by Nazi physicians in their zeal to comply with the political climate of the time. Nazi policy on abortion and childbirth was just one of the methods devised and designed to ensure the extermination of those whom the Nazis deemed had "lives not worth living." Physicians implemented these policies, not with the fate of their patients in mind, but rather in the name of the "state." When discussing pregnancy, abortion and childbirth during the Holocaust it is imperative to include an essay of how these issues affected the Jewish prisoner doctors in the ghettos and camps. Nazi policy dictated their actions too. From an extensive search of their testimonies, I conclude that for these doctors ethical discourse comprised a fundamental component of their functioning. I do not propose to judge them in any way and one should not, in my opinion, argue whether their behavior was or was not morally acceptable under such duress; nevertheless, unlike their Nazi counterparts, a key theme in their testimonies was to "keep their medical values.""
AUTHOR
Tessa Chelouche
PUBLISHED
2007 in The Israel Medical Association journal : IMAJ

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Amnesia, Anesthesia, and Warranted Fear
"Is a painful experience less bad for you if you will not remember it? Do you have less reason to fear it? These questions bear on how we think about medical procedures and surgeries that use an anesthesia regimen that leaves patients conscious - and potentially in pain - but results in complete 'drug-induced amnesia' after the fact. I argue that drug-induced amnesia does not render a painful medical procedure a less fitting object of fear, and thus the prospect of amnesia does not give patients a reason not to fear it. I expose three mistakes in reasoning that might explain our tendency to view pain or discomfort as less fearful in virtue of expected amnesia: a mistaken view of personal identity; a mistaken view of the target of anticipation; and a mistaken method of incorporating past evidence into calculations about future experiences. Ultimately my argument has implications for whether particular procedures are justified and how medical professionals should speak with anxious patients about the prospect of drug-induced amnesia. "
AUTHOR
Vanessa Carbonell
PUBLISHED
2012 in Bioethics

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'In a dark time, the eye begins to see'.
"In this paper I discuss a patient whose shadow became his rival, or as Jung put it, 'The shadow is lived'. I describe the beginning of a process of the assimilation of shadow contents, whereby the rupture between ego and shadow can no longer be maintained. I also discuss how it is primarily through the mutual experience and analysis of archetypal images that the unconscious contents become more integrated. In my clinical illustrations I also explore the relationship between my patient's fight with his shadow and his experiences of childhood shame. I consider how fear expressed through a panic attack may open a royal door to the unconscious, and the way in which its mediation through empathy and analysis can lead to unconscious infantile contents becoming more accessible. In addition, I show how, once some of the fear had subsided, it became possible for play to enter into the analysis."
AUTHOR
J Haynes
PUBLISHED

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I had a Dream!
"Three weeks ago, I had a dream. In the dream, I gave birth to a bunch of baby girls .. J am not pregnant. I am not even married ... the dream baffles me. I try to describe the dream to my mom. She does not want to hear it. .. my dreams give her the creeps. They always come true. I call my aunt and tell her about my dream .. .I am obsessed with interpreting this dream. My aunt says baby girls in dreams are a good omen. I wonder what good omens are in the horizon. I do not wonder for long ... When you live with the fear of war, you stop wondering about goodomens."
AUTHOR
Abir Hamdar
PUBLISHED
1970 in Al-Raida Journal

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Chances and Battles in Stroke Research
"Here I have reviewed how good luck, bad luck and barriers determined my research directions in stroke over the last 30 or so years. Good luck should be exploited, and very often barriers can be not just overcome but put to good use as well. It is crucial for the young researcher to find mentors as good as I have had, and to move around to gain a broad experience, and for the experienced researchers to bring on the younger generation as I have tried to do."
AUTHOR
Charles P. Warlow
PUBLISHED
2007 in Cerebrovascular Diseases

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Eloise Amelia Kahn’s Birth Story
"Eloise Amelia Kahn's birth story highlights my experience as a nursing student preparing to be a mother and how studying nursing during my pregnancy influenced my thought process during pregnancy and labor, my evolving relationship with my certified nurse-midwife, and my unmedicated childbirth in a hospital setting. "
AUTHOR
Kristien Marie Kahn
PUBLISHED
2013 in The Journal of Perinatal Education

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Fear of childbirth and pregnancy-related anxiety in women conceiving with assisted reproduction.
"Objective: To compare the prevalence and predictors of severe fear of childbirth and pregnancy-related anxiety in groups of assisted reproduction treatment (ART) and spontaneously conceiving women with singleton pregnancies.

Methods: The ART group (n = 367, nulliparous 260) represented a cohort from five Finnish infertility clinics in 1999. The control group (n = 379, nulliparous 135) was enrolled in this study by consecutive sampling the same year. Fear of childbirth was assessed by means of the revised version of the Fear-of-Childbirth Questionnaire and pregnancy-related anxiety by means of the Pregnancy Anxiety Scale at gestational week 20 +/- 3.2 (mean+/-standard deviation).

Results: The frequency of severe fear of childbirth and anxiety (classified as total scores in the 90th percentile or higher in the revised Fear of Childbirth Questionnaire and Pregnancy Anxiety Scale) did not differ between the groups. Nulliparity was associated with more frequent severe anxiety only in the controls. In nulliparous participants, a partnership of more than 5 years decreased the risk of severe fear of childbirth (odds ratio 0.3, 95% confidence interval 0.2-0.7). In the nulliparous ART group, a long duration of infertility (7 or more years) increased the risk of severe fear of childbirth (odds ratio 4.4, 95% confidence interval 1.2-16.9).

Conclusion: Women conceiving after ART do not experience severe fear of childbirth or pregnancy-related axiety more often than spontaneously conceiving controls. However, a long duration of infertility is an independent risk factor regarding severe fear of childbirth.

Level Of Evidence: II-2.

"
AUTHORS
M Tulppala
T Saisto
P Poikkeus
L Repokari
L Unkila-Kallio
A Tiitinen et al
PUBLISHED
2006 in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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The battle scars of pregnancy: can they be prevented?
"I have feared developing stretch marks since my first pregnancy. Getting to grips with my changing shape was a big challenge, but I was safe in the knowledge that post-pregnancy I could work towards losing the weight. But stretch marks are permanent, and to me-disfiguring. I researched how stretch marks can be prevented and after finding little evidence for a particular cream or lotion: I scanned forums and asked friends what worked for them. Many people claimed that by keeping skin hydrated and supple, the dreaded stretch marks can be kept at bay or at least to a minimum. So I opted for regularly massaging oil across vulnerable areas and maintaining a balanced diet, including drinking lots of water. I was lucky the first time round; time will tell if my skincare routine will work for my second pregnancy."
AUTHOR
Emma Razi
PUBLISHED

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Fear of childbirth: predictors and temporal changes among nulliparous women in the Danish National Birth Cohort
"Objectives  To describe the association between fear of childbirth and social, demographic and psychological factors in a cohort of 30 480 healthy nulliparous women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies.

Design  Nationwide population-based study.

Setting  The Danish National Birth Cohort.

Population  Healthy nulliparous women (n= 30 480) with singleton pregnancies.

Methods  Data from computer-assisted telephone interviews twice in pregnancy linked with national health registers.

Main outcome measures  Characteristics of women with fear of childbirth in early (mean, 16 weeks) and late pregnancy (mean, 32 weeks) and changes in fear of childbirth between 1997 and 2003.

Results  Low educational level, lack of a social network, young age and unemployment were associated with fear of childbirth, as were being a smoker and having low self-rated health. The odds ratio for fear of childbirth among women with anxiety symptoms was 4.8 (4.1–5.7) after adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle, fertility and depression variables. During the study period, the prevalence of fear of childbirth was stable. Fear of childbirth was reported by 7.6% in early pregnancy and 7.4% in late pregnancy. Only 3.2% of the women expressed fear of childbirth in both interviews.

Conclusions  The prevalence of fear of childbirth among healthy nulliparous women with singleton pregnancies did not increase during the study period. Fear of childbirth among nulliparous women was most often seen in individuals with few social and psychological resources. Testing the women twice, we found the same prevalence of fear in early and late pregnancy, but found that half the women who expressed fear during early pregnancy had no fear later in pregnancy, an effect that was counterbalanced by a similar number of women who became fearful between the two interviews."
PUBLISHED
2008 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

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Childbirth fear in Swedish fathers is associated with parental stress as well as poor physical and mental health
"Objective: to compare self-rated health and perceived difficulties during pregnancy as well as antenatal attendance, birth experience and parental stress in fathers with and without childbirth related fear.

Design: a longitudinal regional survey. Data were collected by three questionnaires.

Setting: three hospitals in the middle-north part of Sweden.

Participants: 1047 expectant fathers recruited in mid-pregnancy and followed up at two months and one year after birth.

Measurements: childbirth fear was assessed using the Fear of Birth Scale (FOBS). Self-rated physical and mental health and perceived difficulties were assessed in mid pregnancy. Two months after birth antenatal attendance, mode of birth and the birth experience were investigated. Parental stress was measured using the Swedish Parental Stress Questionnaire (SPSQ). Crude and adjusted odds ratios were calculated between expectant fathers who scored 50 and above (childbirth fear) and those that did not (no fear).

Findings: expectant fathers with childbirth related fear (13.6%) reported poorer physical (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.8) and mental (OR 3.0; 1.8-5.1) health than their non-fearful counterparts. The fearful fathers were more likely to perceive difficulties in pregnancy (OR 2.1; 1.4-3.0), and the forthcoming birth (OR 4.3; 2.9-6.3) compared to fathers without childbirth fear. First-time fathers with fear attended fewer antenatal classes. Fathers with high fear reported higher mean scores in four of the five subscales of the SPSQ. Childbirth related fear was not associated with mode of birth or fathers' birth experience.

Key Conclusions: expectant fathers with childbirth related fear had poorer health, viewed the pregnancy, birth and the forthcoming parenthood with more difficulties. They were less often present during antenatal classes and had higher parental stress.

Implications For Practice: this study provides insight into the health of expectant fathers during pregnancy and highlights the importance of understanding how childbirth fear may affect expectant fathers in both the short and longer term.

"
AUTHORS
Jennifer Fenwick
Christine Rubertsson
Margareta Johansson
Helen Haines
Ingegerd Hildingsson
PUBLISHED
2014 in Midwifery

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Childbirth Fear: Relation to Birth and Care Provider Preferences
"Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess how preferences for place of birth and mode of birth relate to different dimensions of childbirth fear and whether there is an association between Canadian women's prenatal fear of childbirth and the type and quality of prenatal care they received.

Methods: A link to an online survey was posted on Canadian pregnancy and birth websites; 409 women completed the survey that included sociodemographic questions, questions about the current pregnancy and previous pregnancy experiences (if applicable), and the Childbirth Fear Questionnaire, a validated 40-item scale that measures 9 dimensions of childbirth fear.

Results: Women under physician care and those with a preference for cesarean birth were generally more fearful of pain associated with vaginal birth, fear of loss of sexual pleasure and attractiveness, and fear of harm to themselves or their infant. Conversely, women under the care of midwives and women who preferred to give birth vaginally were more fearful of interventions. Women who preferred a cesarean birth were significantly more likely to report that fear of childbirth interfered with daily functioning, compared to women who preferred a vaginal birth. Satisfaction with care was associated with lower scores on the Childbirth Fear Questionnaire full and subscales, especially among midwifery clients.

Discussion: At present there are no guidelines in Canada or the United States for the treatment and/or referral of pregnant women who suffer from childbirth fear. Until such guidelines are developed, findings from the current study can help maternity care providers identify and address specific fears among women in their care and understand how different fear domains relate to care provider choice, satisfaction with care, and women's preferences for place and mode of birth.

"
AUTHORS
Dana S. Thordarson
Nichole Fairbrother
Kathrin Stoll
PUBLISHED

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Association between fear of childbirth and maternal acceptance of pregnancy
"Aim: This descriptive study aimed to explore the associations between fear of childbirth, acceptance of pregnancy and identification with the motherhood role among primipara women.

Background: Women who have difficulty accepting their pregnancy have a harder time adapting to pregnancy and motherhood and experience more fears related to childbirth. The number of studies conducted on this topic is limited.

Methods: This study involved 310 pregnant women admitted to a public hospital in Istanbul between January and June of 2013. A participant identification form, the Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire and the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire Version A were used for data collection.

Results: Pregnant women participating in the study experienced moderate levels fear of childbirth. Pregnant women who requested caesarean section experienced more intense fear of childbirth. Fear of childbirth scores had significant but weak correlations with acceptance of pregnancy and identification with the motherhood role.

Conclusion: The findings showed that acceptance of pregnancy and identification with the motherhood role are weakly associated with fear of childbirth.

Implications For Nursing And Health Policy: The results from this study can be used to help: increase awareness among health professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives) in antenatal care services about a mother's adaptation to pregnancy and the negative effects of fear of childbirth; direct future research examining factors affecting adaptation to pregnancy and fear of childbirth; establish routine assessments for adaptation to pregnancy and fear of childbirth; provide professional support for women with difficulties adapting to pregnancy and with fear of childbirth; result in reduced complications from invasive methods such as caesarean section due to less requests for these procedures; and promote the health of mothers and babies.

"
AUTHORS
Y. Hamlaci
N. Demirci
N.H. Şahin
R. Mamuk
D. Coşkuner Potur
PUBLISHED
2017 in International Nursing Review

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Swedish midwives’ perceptions of fear of childbirth
"Objectives: to describe midwives' experiences with, and perceptions of, women with fear of childbirth.

Design: a qualitative study with a phenomenographic approach. Data were collected by means of interviews in focus groups.

Setting: four focus groups at four types of hospital in Southern Sweden over a period of 18 months, 2004-2006.

Participants: 21 experienced midwives.

Findings: four description categories emerged, i.e. appearance of fear of childbirth, origins of fear of childbirth, consequences of fear of childbirth, and fear of childbirth and midwifery care.

Key Conclusion: fear of childbirth is seen as a continuum from normal to irrational, severe fear. It has various origins which are more or less difficult to operationalise. Fear of childbirth influences the experience of pregnancy, the labour process and the transition to parenthood. Midwifery care of women with fear of childbirth is emotionally demanding and time consuming. Aspects of care required early identification of women with fear of childbirth, individual care, preparation for giving birth, support of a companion during labour, and postpartum follow-up.

"
AUTHORS
Siw Alehagen
Klaas Wijma
Birgitta Salomonsson
PUBLISHED
2010 in Midwifery

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Fine tuning fear of childbirth: the relationship between Childbirth Fear Questionnaire subscales and demographic and reproductive variables
FUNDERS
University of British Columbia, Island Medical Program
"Objective: The objective of the current study was to investigate the relationship between the newly developed Childbirth Fear Questionnaire (CFQ) and demographic and reproductive variables.

Background: The CFQ was developed in an effort to improve measurement and understanding of women's childbirth fears. To our knowledge the CFQ is the only multidimensional measure of childbirth fears in which (a) multiple domains of childbirth fear are assessed and (b) individual subscales have been psychometrically developed.

Methods: Participants were 643 pregnant women residing in English-speaking countries, recruited via online forums. Participants completed a set of questionnaires, including the multidimensional CFQ, via an online survey. Given the differences in childbirth fear between nulliparous and multiparous women, findings are stratified by parity.

Results: Gestational age was largely unrelated to fear of childbirth. Age, income and education were negatively related to fear of childbirth. Assisted vaginal delivery and episiotomy in a previous pregnancy were positively associated with a fear of pain. Self-reported history of traumatic vaginal birth was associated with higher scores on all aspects of fear of childbirth. History of caesarean birth was not generally associated with increased childbirth fears, but women with a prior, self-reported traumatic caesarean birth reported more fear of future caesarean births.

Conclusions: Findings are consistent with previous reports of fear of childbirth. However, the CFQ provides increased specificity with respect to women's childbirth fears. This information is relevant to both education and treatment planning for pregnant women and women wishing to reproduce.

"
AUTHORS
Kathrin Stoll
Dana S. Thordarson
Nichole Fairbrother
PUBLISHED
2018 in Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

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Prevalence of childbirth fear in an Australian sample of pregnant women.
"Background: Childbirth fear is reported to affect around 20% of women. However reporting on levels of symptom severity vary. Unlike Scandinavian countries, there has been limited focus on childbirth fear in Australia. The aim of this paper is to determine the prevalence of low, moderate, high and severe levels of childbirth fear in a large representative sample of pregnant women drawn from a large randomised controlled trial and identify demographic and obstetric characteristics associated with childbirth fear.

Method: Using a descriptive cross-sectional design, 1,410 women in their second trimester were recruited from one of three public hospitals in south-east Queensland. Participants were screened for childbirth fear using the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire Version A (WDEQ-A). Associations of demographic and obstetric factors and levels of childbirth fear between nulliparous and multiparous women were investigated.

Results: Prevalence of childbirth fear was 24% overall, with 31.5% of nulliparous women reporting high levels of fear (score ≥ 66 on the WDEQ-A) compared to 18% of multiparous women. Childbirth fear was associated with paid employment, parity, and mode of last birth, with higher levels of fear in first time mothers (p < 0.001) and in women who had previously had an operative birth (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Prevalence of childbirth fear in Australian women was comparable to international rates. Significant factors associated with childbirth fear were being in paid employment, and obstetric characteristics such as parity and birth mode in the previous pregnancy. First time mothers had higher levels of fear than women who had birthed before. A previous operative birth was fear provoking. Experiencing a previous normal birth was protective of childbirth fear.

"
AUTHORS
Debra K Creedy
Jenny Gamble
Jennifer Fenwick
Jocelyn Toohill
PUBLISHED
2014 in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Personality and fear of childbirth
"Background. Socioeconomic factors and previous experiences of delivery are known to influence pregnant women's fear of childbirth. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between stable personality traits, fear of childbirth during late pregnancy, and experience of the delivery. Methods. Self-report questionnaires were completed twice, during gestation week 34–37, and at 1-week postpartum. Comparisons were made between 85 women who had sought help from a fear-of-childbirth team, and a group (n = 177) from routine antenatal care. Correlations between fear of childbirth, personality variables and experience of childbirth were calculated. Results. The women who had sought help tended to be more anxiety-prone, more short-tempered, and lower in socialisation, although within the normal range. In spite of counselling, they reported more intense fear of delivery and fear of pain compared with the comparison group. Women with intense fear of childbirth, who were low in socialisation and high in psychasthenia, had a more negative experience of their current childbirth. Conclusion. Women with intense fear of childbirth differ from other pregnant women also in personality. Methods for treating fear of childbirth should be further developed in order to diminish the risk of a negative birth experience."
PUBLISHED
2007 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica

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Personality and fear of childbirth
"Background: Socioeconomic factors and previous experiences of delivery are known to influence pregnant women's fear of childbirth. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between stable personality traits, fear of childbirth during late pregnancy, and experience of the delivery.

Methods: Self-report questionnaires were completed twice, during gestation week 34-37, and at 1-week postpartum. Comparisons were made between 85 women who had sought help from a fear-of-childbirth team, and a group (n=177) from routine antenatal care. Correlations between fear of childbirth, personality variables and experience of childbirth were calculated.

Results: The women who had sought help tended to be more anxiety-prone, more short-tempered, and lower in socialisation, although within the normal range. In spite of counselling, they reported more intense fear of delivery and fear of pain compared with the comparison group. Women with intense fear of childbirth, who were low in socialisation and high in psychasthenia, had a more negative experience of their current childbirth.

Conclusion: Women with intense fear of childbirth differ from other pregnant women also in personality. Methods for treating fear of childbirth should be further developed in order to diminish the risk of a negative birth experience.

"
AUTHORS
Eva Wirfelt
Ing-Britt Wängborg
Eva Wirfelt
Gunnar Edman
Berit Sjögren
Elsa Lena Ryding et al
PUBLISHED
2007 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica

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Fear of childbirth in primiparous Italian pregnant women: The role of anxiety, depression, and couple adjustment
"Background: The prevalence of fear of childbirth in pregnant women is described to be about 20-25%, while 6-10% of expectant mothers report a severe fear that impairs their daily activities as well as their ability to cope with labour and childbirth. Research on fear of childbirth risk factors has produced heterogeneous results while being mostly done with expectant mothers from northern Europe, northern America, and Australia.

Aims: The present research investigates whether fear of childbirth can be predicted by socio-demographic variables, distressing experiences before pregnancy, medical-obstetric factors and psychological variables with a sample of 426 Italian primiparous pregnant women.

Methods: Subjects, recruited between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy, completed a questionnaire packet that included the Wijma Delivery Expectancy Questionnaire, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, as well as demographic and anamnestic information. Fear of childbirth was treated as both a continuous and a dichotomous variable, in order to differentiate expectant mothers as with a severe fear of childbirth.

Findings: Results demonstrate that anxiety as well as couple adjustment predicted fear of childbirth when treated as a continuous variable, while clinical depression predicted severe fear of childbirth.

Conclusions: Findings support the key role of psychological variables in predicting fear of childbirth. Results suggest the importance of differentiating low levels of fear from intense levels of fear in order to promote adequate support interventions.

"
AUTHORS
Annamaria Trovato
Cristina Sechi
Luca Rollè
Laura Elvira Prino
Valentina Fenaroli
Sara Molgora et al
PUBLISHED

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The Lived Experience of Childbearing From Survivors of Sexual Abuse: “It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times”
"Introduction: In the United States, one in every 5 women will experience sexual violence. Survivors are at risk for difficult pregnancies, substance abuse, stress, fear, and preterm births. A history of sexual abuse can impact several aspects of a woman's childbirth, thereby affecting her long-term physical and emotional well-being. The adverse pregnancy outcomes, combined with the prevalence of sexual abuse, underscore the need for research to understand survivors' experiences.

Methods: This study's purpose was to understand the lived experience of pregnancy, labor, and birth from survivors. A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological research design was utilized. The purposeful sample included 8 female, self-identifying survivors of sexual abuse with at least one childbearing experience.

Results: Analysis identified 302 significant statements that formed 7 overarching themes: 1) No one asked me. Just ask me!; 2) An emotional roller coaster: From excitement to grief for what could have been a better experience; 3) All of a sudden I was that little girl again and/or I compartmentalized it: The all-or-nothing experience; 4) Am I even here?: Nothing was explained and I had no voice; 5) All too familiar: No support, nowhere to turn; 6) Holding on to the choices I can make: Who my doctor is and how I feed my baby; and 7) Overprotection: Keeping my child safe.

Discussion: The final result was the essence of childbearing for survivors in this study. They were not screened for a history of sexual abuse. Enjoyment and excitement were juxtaposed with guilt and fear. They had no voice, lacked support, and overwhelmingly desired control. They overprotected their children, from infancy into adulthood. The childbearing experience was a complex, emotional roller coaster permeated by the past. Women's health care providers can utilize the results to provide therapeutic care to survivors to prevent revictimization. The results elucidate the importance of screening for a history of sexual abuse and discussing the implications such a history can have on the childbearing experience.

"
AUTHORS
Cheryl T. Beck
Jenna A. LoGiudice
PUBLISHED
2016 in Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health

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Fear of childbirth: predictors and temporal changes among nulliparous women in the Danish National Birth Cohort
"Objectives: To describe the association between fear of childbirth and social, demographic and psychological factors in a cohort of 30 480 healthy nulliparous women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies.

Design: Nationwide population-based study.

Setting: The Danish National Birth Cohort.

Population: Healthy nulliparous women (n= 30 480) with singleton pregnancies.

Methods: Data from computer-assisted telephone interviews twice in pregnancy linked with national health registers.

Main Outcome Measures: Characteristics of women with fear of childbirth in early (mean, 16 weeks) and late pregnancy (mean, 32 weeks) and changes in fear of childbirth between 1997 and 2003.

Results: Low educational level, lack of a social network, young age and unemployment were associated with fear of childbirth, as were being a smoker and having low self-rated health. The odds ratio for fear of childbirth among women with anxiety symptoms was 4.8 (4.1-5.7) after adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle, fertility and depression variables. During the study period, the prevalence of fear of childbirth was stable. Fear of childbirth was reported by 7.6% in early pregnancy and 7.4% in late pregnancy. Only 3.2% of the women expressed fear of childbirth in both interviews.

Conclusions: The prevalence of fear of childbirth among healthy nulliparous women with singleton pregnancies did not increase during the study period. Fear of childbirth among nulliparous women was most often seen in individuals with few social and psychological resources. Testing the women twice, we found the same prevalence of fear in early and late pregnancy, but found that half the women who expressed fear during early pregnancy had no fear later in pregnancy, an effect that was counterbalanced by a similar number of women who became fearful between the two interviews.

"
AUTHORS
M Hedegaard
C Johansen
M Laursen
PUBLISHED
2008 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Pharmacological pain relief and fear of childbirth in low risk women; secondary analysis of the RAVEL study.
"Background: Fear of childbirth may reduce the womens' pain tolerance during labour and may have impact on the mother-infant interaction. We aimed to assess (1) the association between fear of childbirth antepartum and subsequent request for pharmacological pain relief, and (2) the association between the used method of pain relief and experienced fear of childbirth as reported postpartum in low risk labouring women.

Methods: Secondary analysis of the RAVEL study, a randomised controlled trial comparing remifentanil patient controlled analgesia (PCA) and epidural analgesia to relieve labour pain. The RAVEL study included 409 pregnant women at low risk for obstetric complications at 18 midwifery practices and six hospitals in The Netherlands (NTR 3687). We measured fear of childbirth antepartum and experienced fear of childbirth reported postpartum, using the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire.

Results: Women with fear of childbirth antepartum more frequently requested pain relief compared to women without fear of childbirth antepartum, but this association did not reach statistical significance (adjusted odds ratio (aOR2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8-4.6). Women who received epidural analgesia more frequently reported fear of childbirth postpartum compared to women who did not receive epidural analgesia (aOR3.5; CI 1.5-8.2), while the association between remifentanil-PCA and fear of childbirth postpartum was not statistically significant (aOR1.7; CI 0.7-4.3).

Conclusions: Women with fear of childbirth antepartum more frequently requested pain relief compared to women without fear of childbirth antepartum, but this association was not statistically significant. Women who received pharmacological pain relief more frequently reported that they had experienced fear of childbirth during labour compared to women who did not receive pain relief. Based on our data epidural analgesia with continuous infusion does not seem to be preferable over remifentanil-PCA as method of pain relief when considering fear of childbirth postpartum.

Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Register 3687 ; Register date: 5 Nov 2012.

"
AUTHORS
Ben Willem Mol
Katrien Oude Rengerink
Sabine L M Logtenberg
Anne-Marie Sluijs
François G Schellevis
Corine J Verhoeven et al
PUBLISHED
2018 in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Childbirth Fear, Anxiety, Fatigue, and Sleep Deprivation in Pregnant Women
"Objective: To explore women's levels of childbirth fear, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and fatigue and their relationships during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Design: A cross-sectional descriptive survey of a community sample.

Participants: Six hundred and fifty English-speaking nulliparous and multiparous women, 17 to 46 years of age and between 35 and 39 weeks gestation, with uncomplicated pregnancies.

Methods: Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire, Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory, Mindell's Sleep Questionnaire, and the Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue Questionnaire.

Results: Twenty-five percent of women reported high levels of childbirth fear and 20.6% reported sleeping less than 6 hours per night. Childbirth fear, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and anxiety were positively correlated. Fewer women attending midwives reported severe fear of childbirth than those attending obstetricians. Women with high childbirth fear were more likely to have more daily stressors, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as less help. Higher levels of anxiety predicted higher levels of childbirth fear among women.

Conclusion: One fourth of women reported high childbirth fear. Women's fear of childbirth was related to fatigue, available help, stressors, and anxiety. Fear of childbirth appears to be part of a complex picture of women's emotional experiences during pregnancy.

"
AUTHORS
Wendy A. Hall
Kathrin Stoll
Yvonne L. Hauck
Elaine M. Carty
Eileen K. Hutton
Jennifer Fenwick
PUBLISHED
2009 in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing

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