The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.
A Longitudinal Survey of Childbirth-Related Fear and Associated Factors
Article first published online: 29 SEP 2011
© 2011 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 40, Issue 5, pages 532–543, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Hildingsson, I., Nilsson, C., Karlström, A. and Lundgren, I. (2011), A Longitudinal Survey of Childbirth-Related Fear and Associated Factors. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 40: 532–543. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01274.x
- Issue published online: 29 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 29 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: MAY 2011
- childbirth fear;
- cesarean birth;
- birth experience;
- prenatal counseling;
- perception of control;
To investigate the prevalence of childbirth-related fear from pregnancy to one year after childbirth and to identify factors associated with being cured of childbirth-related fear.
A longitudinal regional survey.
Three hospitals in a northern part of Sweden.
Six hundred ninety-seven (697) women who completed four questionnaires.
Data were collected by questionnaires in mid and late pregnancy and at 2 months and one year after birth. Childbirth related fear was measured 3 times.
There was a statistically significant increase in childbirth fear from 12.4% in mid-pregnancy to 15.1% one year after childbirth (p < .001). Women who were cured of childbirth fear reported a better birth experience and would prefer a vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy. These women were also more likely to experience a feeling of control during birth and were more satisfied with information about the progress of labor, but there was no difference in prenatal counseling or having an elective cesarean between the groups.
Women with prenatal fear of childbirth may be cured of this fear by having a better birth experience. If women feel in control of their bodies and are well informed about the progress of labor, the chances of being cured will increase. Prenatal counseling or having an elective cesarean birth does not seem to be a solution for relieving childbirth fear.