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Keywords:

  • birth experience;
  • dignity;
  • fear of childbirth;
  • hermeneutic;
  • management;
  • team-midwifery

lyberg a. & severinsson e. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 383–390 Fear of childbirth: mothers' experiences of team-midwifery care – a follow-up study

Aim  The aim of this study was to illuminate mothers’ fear of childbirth and their experiences of the team-midwifery care model during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.

Background  Maternal anxiety and fear of childbirth lead to emotional suffering and affected women’s well-being. A previous negative experience of childbirth may result in postnatal depression or avoidance of future pregnancies.

Methods  This hermeneutic study comprised interviews with 13 women, which were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim, after which interpretative content analysis was performed. Ethical approval was granted.

Results  The findings revealed one main theme: The woman’s right to ownership of the pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care as a means of maintaining dignity and three themes; Being aware of barriers and reasons for fear; Being prepared for childbirth and Being confirmed and treated with dignity by the midwife. Each theme contained several sub-themes.

Conclusion  The findings contribute insights into how midwives can be educated to reduce fear of childbirth and promote positive birth experiences, despite the existence of negative memories of previous births.

Implication for nursing management  In order to achieve continuity and a trusting relationship it is necessary to organise leadership and to adopt models that are flexible and support women’s health.