Secondary fear of childbirth prolongs the time to subsequent delivery

Authors

  • GUNILLA SYDSJÖ,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
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  • LOUISE ANGERBJÖRN,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
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  • SOFIE PALMQUIST,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
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  • MARIE BLADH,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
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  • ADAM SYDSJÖ,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
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  • ANN JOSEFSSON

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Conflict of interest The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.

  • Please cite this article as: Sydsjö G, Angerbjörn L, Palmquist S, Bladh M, Sydsjö A, Josefsson A. Secondary fear of childbirth prolongs the time to subsequent delivery. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2012; 91: DOI:10.1111/aogs.12034.

Gunilla Sydsjö, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden. Email: Gunilla.Sydsjo@lio.se

Abstract

Objective. Most pregnant women are anxious about the delivery and up to 30% develop varying degrees of fear of childbirth (FOC). Secondary FOC occurs in parous women who have experienced a traumatic delivery. The aim of this study was to investigate the time to subsequent delivery and delivery outcome in women with secondary FOC, compared with a reference group. Setting. Southeast Sweden. Sample. 356 parous pregnant women with secondary FOC and a reference group of 634 parous women without FOC. Design. Descriptive, retrospective case–control study. Main outcome measures. Time to next pregnancy and delivery outcome. Results. More women with secondary FOC had a longer interval to subsequent delivery compared with parous women without FOC (p = 0.005). Women with secondary FOC had 5.2 times higher probability of having a cesarean section than the reference group. Women with secondary FOC also had on average a 40-minute longer duration of active labor than women without FOC (p < 0.001). Conclusions. Secondary fear of childbirth prolongs the time to subsequent delivery and the active phase of labor itself, and increases the risk for cesarean section.

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