Experiences of security associated with pregnancy and childbirth: a study of pregnant women


Ms Hanna-Leena Melender, Centre for Extension Studies, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 14-18 B, 20520 Turku, Finland. Email: hanna-leena.melender@utu.fi


The aim of this study was to describe the sense of security associated with pregnancy and childbirth and to identify factors associated with it. Security was conceptualized in accordance with Kaufmann as a human need and as a human value. The instrument used was a questionnaire with a 4-point scale. The sample consisted of 481 pregnant Finnish women. The response rate was 69%. Rotated factor analysis was carried out and sum variables were produced. The effects of various background variables were calculated using the Kruskal–Wallis test and the Mann–Whitney U-test. The elements creating security were social support, knowledge, prenatal health-care experiences, support from the partner, livelihood, positive stories and, in multiparae, positive previous childbearing experiences. The most salient finding concerning factors related to security was that women who had no pregnancy-related problems in the current pregnancy reported social support, prenatal health-care experiences and support from the partner as security-creating elements more often than women with such problems. This was the only factor related to manifestation of security. The findings suggest that all pregnant women should be assisted by professionals to find security-creating elements in their particular situation to promote and strengthen the sense of security, paying special attention to women with pregnancy-related problems.