Fear of childbirth; the relation to anxiety and depression.

Health Services Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway.
Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 1.85). 11/2011; 91(2):237-42. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0412.2011.01323.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study the associations of anxiety and depression with fear of childbirth.
A cross-sectional questionnaire study.
Prenatal public healthcare in Norway.
Pregnant women (n=1642) recruited during November 2008 until April 2010.
Data were collected by a postal questionnaire at pregnancy week 32. Fear of childbirth was measured by the Wijma Delivery Expectancy Questionnaire (W-DEQ) and by a numeric rating scale. Symptoms of anxiety were measured by the Hopkins Symptom Check List (SCL-25) and symptoms of depression by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).
Fear of childbirth.
Eight per cent (137 of 1642) of the women had fear of childbirth (W-DEQ≥85), 8.8% (145 of 1642) had anxiety (SCL-anxiety≥18) and 8.9% (146 of 1642) had depression (EPDS≥12). More than half (56.2%) of the women with fear of childbirth did not have anxiety or depression; however, presence of anxiety or depression increased the prevalence of fear of childbirth (odds ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1-5.2 and odds ratio 8.4, 95% confidence interval 4.8-14.7, respectively). Women with both anxiety and depression had the highest prevalence of fear of childbirth (odds ratio 11.0, 95% confidence interval 6.6-18.3). Similar associations of anxiety and depression were estimated by using the numerical rating scale for measuring fear of childbirth.
Presence of anxiety and depression increased the prevalence of fear of childbirth; however, the majority of women with fear of childbirth had neither anxiety nor depression.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Considering that vaginal delivery is a painful process, the present study investigated the effects of Citrus aurantium on the severity of first-stage labor pain in primiparous women. This study was a randomized clinical trial conducted with 126 eligible primiparous patients. The pain severity of patients was measured at the time of enrolling in the study. In the intervention group, (aromatherapy) gauze squares were soaked in 4 ml of C. aurantium distillated water, and in the control group, gauze squares were soaked in 4 ml of normal saline; each gauze square was attached to the respective patients' collar. The intervention was repeated every 30 min. Pain severity was measured after the intervention at 3–4, 5–7, and 8–10 cm cervix dilatations. The two groups were standardized with regard to age, profession, education, desire to conceive, and number and severity of uterine contractions. The Bishop's score was also calculated. Before intervention, pain severity was the same for both groups, but following intervention, pain severity reduced in the intervention group at 3–4 centimeter (P < 0.05), 7–5 centimeter (P < 0.05), and 8–10 centimeter (P < 0.05) dilatations compared with that in the control group. The findings of the study revealed that aromatherapy using C. aurantium distillated water alleviates labor pain. This method is recommended because of its ease of use and low cost and because it is a non-aggressive method to reduce labor pain.
    ranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 01/2014; 13(3):1011-1018.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Childbirth fear is associated with increased obstetric interventions and poor emotional and psychological health for women. The purpose of this study is to test an antenatal psycho-education intervention by midwives in reducing women's childbirth fear.Methods Women (n = 1,410) attending three hospitals in South East Queensland, Australia, were recruited into the BELIEF trial. Participants reporting high fear were randomly allocated to intervention (n = 170) or control (n = 169) groups. All women received a decision-aid booklet on childbirth choices. The telephone counseling intervention was offered at 24 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. The control group received usual care offered by public maternity services. Primary outcome was reduction in childbirth fear (WDEQ-A) from second trimester to 36 weeks’ gestation. Secondary outcomes were improved childbirth self-efficacy, and reduced decisional conflict and depressive symptoms. Demographic, obstetric & psychometric measures were administered at recruitment, and 36 weeks of pregnancy.ResultsThere were significant differences between groups on postintervention scores for fear of birth (p < 0.001) and childbirth self-efficacy (p = 0.002). Decisional conflict and depressive symptoms reduced but were not significant.Conclusion Psycho-education by trained midwives was effective in reducing high childbirth fear levels and increasing childbirth confidence in pregnant women. Improving antenatal emotional well-being may have wider positive social and maternity care implications for optimal childbirth experiences.
    Birth 10/2014; · 2.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 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.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 08/2014; 14(1):275. · 2.52 Impact Factor


Available from
Jun 2, 2014